Bale says there are no lim­its to what Real can achieve

Weekend Witness - - Sport -

MADRID — Gareth Bale be­lieves Real Madrid have what it takes to end a 12year Cham­pi­ons League ti­tle drought, af­ter they cruised into the last 16 with a 4-1 win over Galatasaray on Wed­nes­day.

Nine-time win­ners Madrid made light of Ser­gio Ramos’s send­ing-off mid­way through the first-half as Bale opened the scor­ing with a sump­tu­ous dip­ping free-kick from 35 yards to put the hosts in front.

Umut Bult lev­elled for Galatasaray a minute later, but, de­spite the nu­mer­i­cal dis­ad­van­tage, Madrid were ram­pant af­ter the break, as goals from Al­varo Ar­be­loa, An­gel di Maria and Isco ex­tended Carlo Ancelotti’s men’s un­beaten run to six games, in which they have scored 26 goals.

Madrid’s vic­tory was even more im­pres­sive as it was achieved with­out star man Cris­tiano Ron­aldo, as he sat out the game due to a slight mus­cu­lar in­jury.

And with the favourite for this year’s Bal­lon d’Or still to re­turn, Bale is con­fi­dent Real can go all the way in the Cham­pi­ons League this sea­son.

“We showed char­ac­ter and good team spirit when play­ing a man short,” he said.

“There are no lim­its to what we can achieve in the com­pe­ti­tion. We have a good chance of win­ning the Champi- ons League this year.”

Bale’s goal was his fifth in his last six games, as he has be­gan to find top form fol­low­ing his re­ported 91 mil­lion (about R1,2 bil­lion) move from Tot­ten- ham Hot­spur in Septem­ber.

And he be­lieves his free-kick, which left Galatasaray ’keeper Eray Is­can flum­moxed, was one of the best he has ever scored.

“I am happy about the match and the goal. I’ve been prac­tis­ing free-kicks and was lucky that this one came off. It is one of the best goals of my ca­reer.”

With reg­u­lar cen­tre-for­ward Karim Ben­zema also rested on Wed­nes­day, Bale ended up play­ing in a va­ri­ety of po­si­tions across the front­line as he switched wings with Di Maria at times in the first pe­riod be­fore spend­ing the ma­jor­ity of the sec­ond through the mid­dle.

How­ever, with Ron­aldo and Ben­zema ex­pected to re­turn for the visit of Val­ladolid on Satur­day, Ancelotti in­sisted he still sees Bale’s best po­si­tion as be­ing on the right side of the at­tack.

“I think he is most dan­ger­ous when he plays on the right and has more chances to use his shot.

“He played very well tonight in dif­fer­ent po­si­tions, but I think he is more com­fort­able when he plays on the right.” — Sapa-AFP.

PHOTO: AP

Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale be­lieves the team has what it takes to win this sea­son’s Cham­pi­ons League.

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