- Wales face Portugal in the semi-finals at Euro 2016 tonight
- Real Madrid club-mates Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo will face-off
- Carlo Ancelotti managed the pair during his two-year spell at the club
When Portugal and Wales collide in the semi-finals of the European Championship on Wednesday night, the tie will pitch two of the biggest stars in world football against one another.
But not only are they among the biggest names on the globe, both Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo have spent the past three years slugging it out to be the big dog at Real Madrid.
And a man who has managed the pair of them together admits that they are so competitive that they always wanted to beat each other in training.
Gareth Bale celebrates following Wales’ 3-1 win over Belgium in the Euro 2016 quarter-finals
Cristiano Ronaldo scored the opening penalty as Portugal beat Poland to reach the semi-finals
Writing in the Telegraph, new Bayern Munich boss Carlo Ancelotti has revealed that the duo were desperate to seal bragging rights in the training-ground canteen.
‘Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo have faced each other more times on the training ground at Valdebebas in Madrid than they can probably remember, and let me tell you even when the big names at the club are playing a game at the end of training, they want to win.
‘Yes, I have seen these two boys sweating over an eight-a-side game many times during my two years at Madrid. All the great players are competitors.
‘They all want to come out on top even when the only thing at stake is to be able to walk into the training-ground canteen as the winner. So when it comes to the game in Lyon, just think what it will mean to these two lads to do it for their countries.’
The semi-final between Wales and Portugal sees Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo facing each other
Carlo Ancelotti managed the pair during his two-seasons in charge of European champions Real Madrid
GARETH BALE AT EURO 2016
Chances created: 4
Shot accuracy: 74%
Pass accuracy: 69%
CRISTIANO RONALDO AT EURO 2016
Chances created: 8
Shot accuracy: 41%
Pass accuracy: 86%
The Italian also admits that he has seen an improvement in Bale since his departure from the Bernabeu hotseat last summer, and that he has become a leader for his national side.
‘I have seen Gareth change a lot in the last year. You can see he is much more confident. He is happy with his position at Real Madrid and he has had a good season.
‘With Wales, he likes to speak about his role and his responsibility with the team. I know how important it is to him that he does well for Wales, and with his national team he is learning what it is like to be a leader.’
The Italian has revealed that Ronaldo and Bale were so competitive they wanted to beat each other in training.