Gareth Bale

Ronaldo tantrums are normal, says Nacho

The Portugal star was visibly irked when he was taken off in the second half of Madrid's 2-1 LaLiga victory at Athletic Bilbao on Saturday.

It was suggested in the Spanish media that Ronaldo hurled a curse at head coach Zinedine Zidane as he walked off, although the head coach later denied that the 32-year-old forward was particularly upset.

And Nacho says any other player would react the same way when they are taken off, telling Deportes Cope: "It's normal to get angry. Cristiano gets angry when he's replaced, just like Isco or anyone else does.

Premier League burns out English Champions League hopes, says Madrid star Bale

Bale has won the Champions League twice since leaving Tottenham for the Spanish capital in 2013 and sees the benefits of resting up at Christmas in order to be fresh at the business end of the campaign.

Madrid hold a 3-1 advantage over Napoli ahead of Tuesday's last-16 match at Stadio San Paolo, while Arsenal will kick-off at the same time, staring down the barrel of elimination due to a 5-1 deficit to Bayern Munich.

Villarreal 2 Real Madrid 3: Bale, Ronaldo and Morata complete stunning turnaround

Villarreal had seemingly blown a three-way battle for the title with Barcelona and Sevilla wide open when quickfire second-half goals from Manu Trigueros and Cedric Bakambu had the hosts 2-0 up at Estadio de la Ceramica.

However, Madrid - beaten by Valencia last time out - produced an emphatic response with three goals in 19 second-half minutes to avoid back-to-back losses and seal three points that sees them go back top of LaLiga with a game in hand.

Bale makes early return to training

Wales star Bale has been out of action since Madrid's 2-1 win over Sporting CP in the Champions League group stage in November, when he suffered ankle tendon damage that required surgery.

The club's official Twitter account posted a picture of Bale training with the first-team group ahead of the club's Champions League last-16 clash against Napoli on Wednesday, despite head coach Zinedine Zidane previously targeting a return for Bale in the second leg of that tie.

Bale has scored twice in his five Champions League appearances this season.

Zidane eyes possible Bale return at Napoli

Wales star Bale has been out since suffering ankle tendon damage that required surgery during a 2-1 win at Sporting CP in the group stage.

Speaking ahead of Saturday's LaLiga match with bottom club Osasuna, Zidane was tentatively upbeat over the prospects of the 27-year-old forward featuring amid the typically daunting atmosphere at Stadio San Paolo next month.

"I think it's March 7 when we play Napoli. Hopefully, it would be great news if he could be back," Zidane said.

Ronaldo out of Madrid squad for Sevilla clash

Ronaldo also missed the first leg of the round of 16 tie, with Madrid cruising to a 3-0 win at the Santiago Bernabeu without their star attacker.

He then returned to the starting XI for the 5-0 win over Granada at the weekend, but will be allowed to sit out Thursday's clash again.

Modric, meanwhile, has featured for the full 90 minutes in Madrid's first two games of 2017, but Zidane does not need the Croatia international at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

Zidane's Madrid on cusp of setting new unbeaten record

When Zidane replaced Rafa Benitez midway through last season, the inexperienced former midfield standout got off to an auspicious start with a 5-0 victory over Deportivo La Coruna.

Eleven months and one Champions League title later, Madrid faces Deportivo again at home on Saturday with the chance of surpassing its longest unbeaten run since the club was founded in 1902.

On Wednesday, Madrid equaled a club record of 34 games without a loss set in 1989 under coach Leo Beenhakker when it drew 2-2 with Borussia Dortmund.

Real Madrid favourite to add Club World Cup title to honours

Madrid has a shot at becoming the first team to win the Champions League, Spanish league, Spain's Copa del Rey, and the Club World Cup in the same season. It leads the Spanish league, is through to the knockout stage of the Champions League, and is alive in the Copa del Rey.

The tournament kicks off on Thursday in Yokohama with newly crowned J-League champion Kashima Antlers facing Oceania champion Auckland City for a chance to advance to the second round.

Messi hurt in Barca draw with Atletico, Madrid miss record

Messi gingerly walked off the Camp Nou pitch in the 58th minute, just moments before Atletico substitutes Angel Correa and Fernando Torres went on and linked up to equalize.

The defending champions said Messi will be sidelined for three weeks with a groin strain.

"With Leo Messi out, football loses, we all lose," Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said. "We now have to look for different solutions. Of course we are stronger with Messi, but we are still strong enough."

Ronaldo named UEFA Best Player in Europe for second time

Ronaldo was favourite for the award having led Real Madrid to their 11th Champions League win in 2015-16, scoring the winning penalty in a dramatic shootout against rivals Atletico Madrid.

The former Manchester United star then went on to win a first major international trophy as Portugal were crowed European champions after seeing off hosts France in the final of Euro 2016.

The 31-year-old previously won the award for the 2013-14 season and he joins Barcelona rival Lionel Messi in winning the honour on a second occasion.