The Welshman opens up about moving to Real Madrid and realising his full potential.
Real Madrid’s new ‘Galactico’, Gareth Bale, has made it clear that he does not regret moving to Spain and has credited team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo for helping him develop as a player since his arrival at Bernabeu.
Gareth Bale’s first season at Real Madrid will perhaps be best remembered for the winning goal he scored against arch-rivals Barcelona in the Copa del Rey finals where he out-ran Marc Bartra from the centre-line and then went on to put the ball past Pinto earning his new club their first trophy of the season.
Talking to the Press about ‘that’ goal, Gareth Bale commented that he ‘fancies’ himself if he is engaged in a sprint with an opposition player, bearing testimony to the winger’s athletic abilities.
“I scored a similar goal for Wales maybe six weeks beforehand. I was just focused on the ball but if I am in a sprint with someone I fancy myself. It was great to score the goal. It was important to win the first trophy of the season. It gave us a lot of confidence.”
Bale seems to have adjusted well into the star-studded Real Madrid squad and has been an integral part of their current campaign despite his injury-prone start at the Santiago Bernabeu. The Welshman has scored an impressive 20 goals and provided 16 assists in just 31 appearances and looks set to improve the record in the coming seasons.
“Every year I try to keep improving and I tell myself that if I keep working hard I will get better.”
Talking about ‘La Decima’, Real Madrid’s quest for the elusive tenth Champions League title, Bale admitted that it would be a dream come true if he is able to clinch the title with Real Madrid.
“It would be a dream to win it. I always had confidence in my ability and the fact we are now chasing the 10th title, against our city rivals, is very exciting.”
“Madrid has a real buzz about it. It’s football mad at the best of times but there’s a real sense of anticipation.”
The 24 year old winger believes that the time was right for him to move to Real Madrid and expressed his delight in being able to do so last season, despite resistance from Tottenham Hotspurs.
“The time was right to go to Madrid. I am really glad I did it. I am trying to embrace everything, trying to enjoy the ride. It was also important to not only have some friends over but some family as well. I have got a great team around me.”
Already earning appreciation from the Bernabeu faithful, Gareth Bale has credited Cristiano Ronaldo for helping him adapt and improve since his arrival in Spain. Though there were initial apprehensions regarding his compatibility with the Portuguese, Ronaldo and Bale combine to present one of the deadliest counter-attacking threats in Europe at the moment. Talking about Ronaldo, Bale commented that the Ballon d’Or winner had been extremely supportive of the Welshman since his arrival.
“Cristiano has been very supportive. From the first day I came in, he has been there for me. On day one he gave me advice on the best areas to live and stuff like that.”
Gareth Bale seems to be making the most of the opportunity to play with the World’s best talents and admitted that Ronaldo has helped him develop into a better player at Real Madrid.
“We talk a lot, have a good relationship on and off the pitch. I’ve learned a bit of everything from him. The way he plays and gets himself into certain positions; it’s a chance to learn off one of the best players in the world. Hopefully, that will improve me as a player.”
Taking a cue from Ronaldo’s style of play, Bale is keen to improve his positioning in order to get into more goal-scoring positions.
“I don’t think there’s anything specific (that I need to improve). It is more my all-round game, positioning-wise. I need to get myself into more goal-scoring positions.”
It now remains to be seen if Bale can play a decisive role on Saturday and bring Santiago Bernabeu the much-awaited ‘La Decima’. And if the dream is to come true, he will be aware that all eyes will be on his partnership with Cristiano Ronaldo at Lisbon.