Wales winger Gareth Bale joins Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo among the leading contenders for *FIFA's Ballon d'Or award. *The 23-man shortlist for the prestigious world player of the year award was today, with the winner to be unveiled on January 13 in Zurich.
Barcelona forward Messi has won the award for the last four years, with Bale's Madrid team-mate Ronaldo consistently his nearest challenger.
Meanwhile Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has called for patience as fans wait to see the best of Bale following his record-breaking summer move.
Bale has yet to set the Primera Division alight following his 100million euros transfer from Tottenham and, with the Wales forward battling to return to full fitness, he is also still to complete a whole match for his new club.
He was named in the starting line-up for Saturday's Clasico against Barcelona but was replaced an hour into the 2-1 loss.
"In the last few games he hasn't done extraordinary things, but a player who arrives at a new team, in a new culture, needs time to adapt," said Ancelotti.
"The problem the player has is of adaptation. It's not the same to play in Spain as in England."
Ancelotti also laughed off any suggestion that Bale's price tag had an influence on his decision to start him against Barca.
Gareth Bale posted the new cover of the FIFA 14 game, with him in his new Real Madrid kit, on Twitter.
He admitted it was "great to finally get back to playing" for Wales last night, after an injury lay-off.
The world's most expensive player said he "can't wait" to get to Madrid now, after the international break and ahead of a potential debut on Saturday.
'Hala Madrid' is a popular fans' saying, meaning 'Go Madrid!'
Gareth Bale's world record transfer from Tottenham to Real Madrid has been recognised by an updated cover of the video game FIFA 14.
The £85m move finally went through 10 days ago, making the Wales' star the world's most expensive football player.
Bale has been suffering with a foot injury - and made his first appearance since July as a substitute, as Wales lost 3-0 to Serbia last night.
He could play for his new club for the first time against Villarreal on Saturday.
This YouTube video shows how Gareth Bale's footballing technique was captured for the upcoming FIFA 14 game.
The Welsh footballer is pictured on the front cover of the game alongside Barcelona's Lionel Messi.
Welsh footballing star Gareth Bale will feature on the front cover of the next edition of the Fifa football game. Bale tweeted a photo of himself on the front of the game alongside Barcelona player, Lionel Messi.