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Bernabéu Bites, 08.11.2013: Back in Madrid

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Just as swiftly as Real Madrid trampled all over the preseason competition in the United States, Los Blancos have returned to the Spanish capital.

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  • The boys are back in town. The squad has landed back in Spain after concluding its final preseason match. Los Blancos picked apart a weak Inter Milan side in St. Louis on Saturday before making the transatlantic flight back to Madrid. Lucas's recap of the match is available here in case you missed it. Sergio Ramos and Álvaro Arbeloa did not travel with the team. They've stayed in the United States in order to meet up with the rest of the Spanish National Team ahead of the friendly against Ecuador on Wednesday, August 14th. <br>
  • Ángel Di María reassured fans that he was indeed staying put. The Argentine spoke to the press following the 3-0 victory in St. Louis where he said "I'm staying in Madrid because I have three years left on my contract and I'm very happy here." He added, "We're going with our selection now. Hopefully there will be no problems and we all return well in order to kick off La Liga in the best way possible." In the same press conference, Carlo Ancelotti said Sami Khedira was also staying, Xabi Alonso will be available for the season's first match and Fábio Coentrão is making up his mind on his future. All of that was covered for you here by Pedro. <br>
  • Obligatory Gareth Bale mention: André Villas-Boas shrugs off Bale's no-show for Tottenham's lone preseason appearance at White Hart Lane. AVB says Bale was under no obligation due to injury recovery. The Welshmen is set to report for international duty in Cardiff on Wednesday as Wales takes on the Republic of Ireland. A Bale appearance in that match would be VERY telling, but also highly, highly unlikely.  <br><br>
  • We're now a week away from the start of the 2013/14 La Liga season. The goalkeeping drama was the elephant in the room a season ago, and Marca has begun to speculate on the goalmouth for this upcoming campaign. Pablo Polo writes that both Diego López and Iker Casillas have been brilliant in the preseason and that the Mister faces a headache of a selection going into the season. Ancelotti certainly does face a dilemma. My only question is whether the dilemma is based in meritocracy or in conflict avoidance. We shall see.

<h4>More from Managing Madrid:</h4>
<ul>
<li><a href="http://www.managingmadrid.com/2013/8/10/4609528/real-madrid-inter-milan-friendly-score">Real Madrid Dominate Inter, Win 3-0</a></li>
<li><a href="http://www.managingmadrid.com/2013/8/11/4609848/carlo-ancelotti-post-game-press-conference">Carlo Ancelotti Post-Match Press Conference, August 10th</a></li>
<li><a href="http://www.managingmadrid.com/2013/8/10/4608282/real-madrid-de-sciglio">Real Madrid Chasing Mattia De Sciglio, 'Marca' Reports</a></li>
</ul>