Real Madrid opened their first training session in the United Arab Emirates to the public, giving a chance for their fans in the area to get an early glimpse of their heroes up close. And the good news for followers of Los Blancos, not to mention manager Zinedine Zidane, was that both Gareth Bale and Raphael Varane were present putting them in contention for a place in the Club World Cup.
Bale and Varane could push for final start
The stands at the New York University facility had around a thousand excited spectators who throughout the duration of the session didn't lull in the screaming towards the players. The direction of much of that appreciation went towards Cristiano, Modric, and also Zidane.
On the pitch, the main talking point was the return to action of Bale and Varane who joined their teammates for the run out. Whether the Welsh forward starts against Al Jazira is still in doubt, although the expectation is that he will at least get some minutes to prove his sharpness and possibly make a case for the XI taking to the field for the final, if Zidane's side can avoid an upset on Wednesday. The same applies to Varane as he returns from the muscle injury picked up against Borussia Dortmund.
The final workout of the day - shots at goal and crosses from wide - was missed by both Bale and Varane. Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos also sat out this drill as the four players headed indoors for personalised exercises.
CWC semi-final team selection
In other team news, Zidane was giving little away to those who had gathered. A mixture of expected first team players and substitutes were used in the session and Llopis worked with the three goalkeepers seperately.