Paris Saint-Germain players take part in a training session at the Aspire Academy of Sports Excellence in Doha.
Doha: An exciting match is on the cards as European giants France’s Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Spain’s Real Madrid clash here today at the Khalifa Stadium.
Resuming their rivalry in Doha will be two exciting strikers. Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be turning out for their respective clubs in the sell-out match at the stadium with a capacity of 50,000.
The exhibition match is part of the preparations, for both teams, ahead of the second half of the season. PSG coach Laurent Blanc insisted that his Qatari-backed side would be using the game merely as a training session ahead of a busy second half of the season in which they prepare to defend their Ligue 1 title.
PSG are top of Ligue 1, three points ahead of Monaco, at the winter break with Real Madrid third in La Liga, five points behind Barcelona.
The Qatari-owned PSG are in Doha for a five-day winter training camp which will culminate with the high-profile exhibition match. For the Paris club, this third successive year they are in Doha for the camp, while for the
El Blancos’ it is the first time they will be in Qatar.
Meanwhile, Gareth Bale has been left out of Real Madrid’s squad for their friendly with PSG due to a calf complaint. The Welshman did not train with the rest of the Real squad on Tuesday after picking up the injury in training a fortnight ago.
Bale — who moved to the Bernabeu from Tottenham for a world-record fee in the close-season — struggled with back and thigh problems earlier in the season, but has notched seven times in 10 La Liga appearances in a promising start to his career in Spain. Real returned to training on Sunday following time off for the mid-season break, but Bale had to train alone.
Centre-back Raphael Varane is also unavailable for selection today, with the Frenchman continuing to suffer from a knee injury. The Peninsula