Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has shot down any suggestions Gareth Bale could return to play at left-back after Brazilian international Marcelo was ruled out for a couple of weeks by a hamstring injury.
Marcelo will miss both legs of Real’s Champions League quarter-final against Borussia Dortmund with the first leg taking place at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday night.
Bale began his career at left-back at Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur before twice becoming Premier League Player of the Year from a more advanced position and Ancelotti insisted that the Welshman would maintain his place on the right side of Real’s attack.
“Bale at full-back is not an option for us,” he told his pre-match press conference ahead of Dortmund’s visit to the Spanish capital.
“We have a problem with Marcelo, but we can cover his absence well with (Fabio) Coentrao. He is fresh and will replace him without any problems.”
Bale was on target twice in Real’s 5-0 win over Rayo Vallecano on Saturday as Ancelotti’s men bounced back from consecutive defeats to Barcelona and Sevilla.
That double took the former Tottenham man’s tally for the season to 16, but he has been criticised for his lack of impact in Real’s biggest games.
Ancelotti admitted that Bale can be inconsistent, but defended the player’s attitude and claimed that was to be expected given the type of player he is and the position he plays in.
“I think it is true he is a little intermittent, but that is a characteristic of all forwards and especially very quick players.
“Players with that speed can’t have a continuous influence likes other players with different characteristics like Xabi Alonso.
“His inconsistency is a physical characteristic of the player, like Cristiano (Ronaldo) or (Karim) Benzema. It is not an attitude problem.”