Real Madrid star confident he can compete with Bale

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Real Madrid midfielder Angel di Maria insists that he is good enough to compete with new arrival Gareth Bale for a starting spot at the Bernabeu. 

The Argentinian international had been linked with a move away from the Spanish giants, with Arsenal making a bid worth £26 million during the transfer window.

However the 25-year-old rejected the move to the Emirates when manager Carlo Ancelotti assured him he had a role to play despite the arrival of the Welshman for a world-record £86 million transfer fee.

And Di Maria said that as well as the manager's backing, a conversation with international team-mate Ezequiel Lavezzi convinced him to stay put.

"I decided to stay, despite the players that were coming to the club," Di Maria said.

"I knew that I was going through a good period and that I had the skills to play here.

"I talked to Pocho [Lavezzi] and he asked me: 'Do you really want to leave there?'

"Coach Carlo Ancelotti told me that whoever is better will play. I think that Bale wasn't training in Tottenham so I guess I have a head start."

The former Benfica player was preferred ahead of Bale for Real's 1-6 rout of Galatasaray on Tuesday in the Champions League.

Di Maria moved to Madrid from the Portuguese side in 2010 and has made 142 appearances for the club.

As well as Bale's arrival, Di Maria also commented on former team-mate Gonzalo Higuain's decision to depart to Napoli over the summer transfer window.

"Higuain had to stand a lot of things," he added.

"Many times the media would criticise him badly. That might have influenced his decision to leave Real Madrid."

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Gareth Bale
Real Madrid

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