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Champions League Final: Gareth Bale starts on the bench for Real Madrid

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Wales' Gareth Bale starts the Champions League final on bench.

The forward has not played since coming off in the first half of El Clasico on April 23, and he admitted he may have rushed his return following an ankle operation in November.

Bale hopes to become the sixth man to be crowned a European champion in his home city, with former Manchester United goalkeeper Alex Stepney the only previous British player to do so at Wembley in 1968.

Two thousand police officers deployed for Champions League final in Cardiff

Credit: PA

Two thousand police officers have been deployed in Cardiff as they city gets ready to welcome 170,000 people for the Champions League final.

The match is expected to be watched by a worldwide audience of more than 200 million people, and is the largest single sporting event to be held in the UK since the 2012 Olympics in London.

We will have in the region of 2,000 police officer deployments across Cardiff, with every officer fully aware of the huge task ahead and committed to ensuring residents and visitors to the capital have a safe and enjoyable experience.

We continue to advise people who don’t have tickets to the match to avoid travelling by car or public transport to the city centre due to the unprecedented influx of visitors we are expecting.

For those who have tickets, our advice is to allow extra time for travel and security checks and to remain vigilant throughout the day. You are also advised not to bring a bag to the stadium, there will bag drops across the city.

We are continuing to investigate the theft of 13 Champions League final tickets from a hotel near Cardiff Airport.

As well as appealing for any information about the theft, I’d like to remind the public that ticket-touting is a criminal offence, and that anyone buying tickets off the street runs the risk of being refused entry if those tickets turn out to be stolen.

Our policing style here in south Wales is professional but friendly and approachable – something we are immensely proud of and something which has really been embraced by the public this week.

The festival in Cardiff Bay over the last couple of days has demonstrated and reinforced the balance of safety, security and public enjoyment we have sought to facilitate.

As we look forward to the main event later today, that won’t change.

– ssistant Chief Constable Richard Lewis
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