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Real Madrid round-up: Bale, James, Ramos, Mariano...

In Tuesday's round-up: Bale and Hazard in international action, James injury update, Ramos hits 170 Spain caps, and on this day, 2005, Messi makes Clásico debut.

Real Madrid round-up: Bale, James, Ramos, Mariano...
JUAN AGUADO DIARIO AS

International round-up: Bale, Modric, Belgium, Brazil

Despite not playing for Real Madrid for a number of weeks, Gareth Bale is set to start for Wales against Hungary, where a win will see the Dragons take the second qualification spot head of Wednesday’s opponents.

With Croatia securing the top-spot in Wales’ group following their 3-1 win over Slovakia, Luka Modric has returned to Madrid, meaning he will miss his country’s friendly against Georgia on Wednesday. Modric re-joins his Madrid team mates who had not travelled on international duty to begin preparations for the upcoming fixtures against Real Sociedad, PSG and Alavés.

Meanwhile, Eden Hazard and Courtois are looking to make it 10 wins from 10 for Belgium when they meet Cyprus. The Red Devils are the only side that have an opportunity to go into next summer’s Euros with a 100-percent record from qualifying.

In Abu Dhabi, Brazil are looking to end a five-game winless streak when they face South Korea, with Eder Militao being the only Madrid representative in the starting XI. Casemiro has been rested following last Friday’s 1-0 defeat to Argentina. Rodrygo has once again been left out of Tite’s team, with Brazil coach calling for patience with the 18-year-old, who could get another cameo from the bench following his first appearance against Argentina.

Sergio Ramos reaches 170 Spain caps

Sergio Ramos became Spain’s most capped player last month by making his 168th appearance, eclipsing the record held Iker Casillas'.

Having started Spain’s 5-0 win over Romania on Tuesday, the Real Madrid captain jumped to seventh in the list of players with the most international caps, and is currently 14 caps behind the current record holder, retired Egyptian midfielder Ahmed Hassan.

James injury update; Marcelo and Jovic returns

James is set for an extended spell on the side-lines as the club has confirmed that the Colombian midfielder has “a sprain to the internal ligament of his left knee". James has not played for Madrid since picking up an injury while on international duty last month. The 28-year-old is not expected to return until the new year and joins Marco Asensio and Nacho on the long-term injury list.

Meanwhile, Marcelo, who did not make Tite’s Brazil squad, could return to action this weekend after a knock saw him miss the 4-0 win over Eibar on November 9. Although Ferland Mendy could be given the nod ahead of the veteran Brazilian at left back for the visit of Real Sociedad on Saturday. Luka Jovic also has also overcome his injury issues and returned to training with the group on Monday.

James Rodriguez

Roma want Mariano

With a future at the Bernabéu looking bleak for Mariano, the player and the club have agreed that it’s best that they part ways. Having been told by Zidane that he had no place in future plans, the 26-year-old has yet to feature for a single minute this season.

The Spanish-Dominican centre forward has been linked with a number of clubs who would appear happy to take him off Madrid’s hands, with Roma being the latest. According to Correo dello Sport, the Serie A club are very interested in the ex-Valencia star and could secure the deal if they are willing to pay around 20 million euros.

On this day in 2005: Messi plays his debut Clásico

Lionel Messi.

On this day 14 years ago, Real Madrid suffered an embarrassing 3-0 defeat to Barcelona in front of a shocked home crowd at the Santiago Bernabéu. Samuel Eto’o opened the scoring in the 15th minute, assisted by 18-year-old Lionel Messi, before Ronaldinho added a brace in the second half.

It was up-and-coming star Messi’s first-ever game against Real Madrid. And his Eto’o assist marked his first-ever direct goal involvement against Los Blancos (he has since gone on to provide 26 goals and 14 assists in 39 Clásico fixtures). Barcelona eventually went on to lift the title that season, finishing 12 points ahead of Madrid in second place.