Bale says there are no limits to what Real can achieve
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.
Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale believes the team has what it takes to win this season’s Champions League.