European champions Real Madrid could be without the world`s most expensive player Welshman Gareth Bale and Portuguese defender Pepe when they meet city rivals and domestic champions Atletico Madrid in Tuesday`s first leg of the Spanish Super Cup.
On the grandstand of Fonte Nova in Salvador, German Chancellor Angela Merkel clapped with great joy four times four times on the Monday afternoon. Sitting beside the Bahia state governor Jaques Wagner, the German leader saw the football team of his country trouncing Portugal 4-0 in their opening Group G game.
Thomas Mueller and his Germany team mates could hardly believe their eyes when they looked up at the scoreboard early in the first half and saw they were leading Portugal 2-0 in their World Cup opening match on Monday.
Portugal have denied midfielder Raul Meireles was making an insulting gesture toward the referee after team mate Pepe was sent off against Germany on Monday, saying he was simply passing on tactical instructions from coach Paulo Bento.
Real Madrid top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo is fit for Saturday`s Champions League final against Atletico Madrid but forward Karim Benzema and centre back Pepe remain doubtful, coach Carlo Ancelotti said on Friday.
Real Madrid closed to within three points of La Liga leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid at the halfway stage of the season when a Pepe header secured a laboured 1-0 win at mid-table Espanyol on Sunday.
Real Madrid may have strolled into the Champions League last 16 with a 4-1 win at home to Galatasaray on Wednesday but coach Carlo Ancelotti levelled some sharp criticism at centre backs Sergio Ramos and Pepe after the game.