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Champions League Is Back: Bernabéu Bites 09.17.2013

Real Madrid kicks-off its Champions League season today against the intimidating Galatasaray. We bring you previews and sound bites from around the world in anticipation of this heated match. Enjoy!

Burak Kara
  • Sky Sports has written up a preview of tonight's match in which they speculate that Gareth Bale will not start the game. The preview also features a quote by Galatasaray striker Didier Drogba, who states, " I am optimistic...We have very strong teams in our group and we want to get out of it by playing good football. Hopefully I can score more goals."
  • The Guardian also focuses on Gareth Bale in its match preview, quoting Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti: "We have to be careful with him after the difficult pre-season he has just had." Depending on how the match unfolds, Bale may feature as a super-sub. The Guardian predicts that Ancelotti will start Bale in the league fixture against Getafe this weekend as a way to integrate him in a calmer environment.
  • El Pais' controversial sportswriter Diego Torres questions the sporting reasons behind Casillas' start and alludes to the contradictions inherently present in the Casillas fiasco. If the Champions League is the "most important competition in the world," as Carletto stated, how can he justify starting a cold, out-of-rhythm Casillas against the likes of Drogba, Yilmaz and Sneijder in the stadium often referred to as "hell?" My personal interpretation of Torres' argument is that starting Iker Casillas tonight is a lose-lose situation for both player and club.
  • Shout-out to community member Naz Habib for sharing the following ESPN story in which Sergio Ramos praises Gareth Bale. Real Madrid's Vice-Captain claimed to not have known much about Bale's prodigious talent prior to the Welsh Wizard's arrival in the Spanish Capital; however, after training with Bale the last few days, Madrid's centre-back has been blown away by the winger's quickness and trickery.

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