Ancelotti wants to be sure that he doesn’t place Varane, or any of the others returning from injury, at risk, so if there is even the smallest doubt in his mind, he won’t play the Frenchman. Another possibility is that he could be involved in the full preparations for the match but then not be included in the match-day squad, as happened with Illaramendi against Athletic. The decision was eventually taken not to include Asier, but he was still involved in the full warm up for the game.

“Being contacted by Real Madrid is something that only happens once in a lifetime. It’s a very, very big club. It has always been my dream. It’s amazing and now it’s great to be here”, added Bale, who believes he has made the move of his life.

If Casillas does suffer from one weakness then it is indeed on high balls and Galatasaray can boast not one but two giants in Didier Drogba (1 metre 89) and Burak Yilmaz (1 metre 88) who will make it difficult for the central defenders with every ball that is launched into the air.

That figure makes the Portuguese international top of a list of stars in which he is followed by Leo Messi (Bara, 16 million), Neymar (Bara, 15), Ibrahimovic (PSG, 14.5), Falcao (Monaco, 14), Rooney (United, 13.8), Agero (City, 13.5), Yaya Tour (City, 13), Thiago Silva (PSG, 12) and Gareth Bale (Real Madrid, 11).

On top of those figures it is worth noting the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo is the most expensive player of all time due to the 96 million Real Madrid paid Manchester United for his signature, although Tottenham claims to have received more for Gareth Bale.

On Sunday he went through a tough session specifically designed by the veteran goalkeeping coach Villiam Vecchi, with the Champions League tie in mind. For almost the whole hour all four Real Madrid goalkeepers worked on their aerial game, defending crosses from all angles at both short range and long distance.