Bale Says He Gets More Enjoyment From Wales Than Real Madrid

Wales’ forward Gareth Bale poses before the Euro 2020 football qualification match between Slovakia and Wales in Trnava on October 10, 2019. VLADIMIR SIMICEK / AFP

 

Gareth Bale has risked fuelling the criticism of his commitment to Real Madrid by admitting on Friday he is more excited playing for Wales than for the Spanish giants.

Bale has not featured for Real since scoring in his country’s 1-1 draw against Croatia on October 13 and a calf injury has prevented him from even training with his club’s first-team squad.

So his decision to join up with Wales for their final Euro 2020 qualifiers against Azerbaijan in Baku on Saturday and Hungary on Tuesday has drawn negative comments in the Spanish press.

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“I definitely have more excitement playing for Wales,” Bale said at a press conference in Baku.

“I’ve been with most of the older players since we were in the Under-17s. It’s like playing with your mates down the park on a Sunday. It’s normal.

“With Wales, I’m speaking my own language and feel more comfortable. But it doesn’t change what I do on the pitch. I always give 100 percent on the pitch wherever I am, that’s what I always strive to do.”

Former Real players and the media regularly accuse Bale of putting his love of golf before the club.

“I find it hilarious, to be honest, especially some of the pictures and stuff my friends send me,” Bale said.

“On one it said triple bogey – and I’ve never had a triple bogey! At least give me an albatross! It’s funny.

“Some of the things I have seen, people don’t understand and don’t know what they’re on about. So I just find it quite funny.”

To have a chance of qualifying for their second successive European Championship, Wales probably need to win both games.

Bale said he wasn’t sure he would play the whole of both matches but defended his return to action in time for the Wales matches.

“I’ve done as much as I can in terms of trying to get back as quick as I can.

“If there had been a Real Madrid game this week, I would’ve been fit and training to play. Maybe to them, it doesn’t look great, but it’s just a kind of coincidence that the national team comes around this week.”

Kane Will Face Real After Hamstring Injury – Pochettino

Kane Will Face Real After Hamstring Injury – Pochettino
Tottenham Hotspur’s English striker Harry Kane reacts to a missed chance during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Burnley at Wembley Stadium in London, on August 27, 2017. Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP

Mauricio Pochettino is confident Harry Kane will be fit for Tottenham’s Champions League showdown with Real Madrid after the England striker took part in training on Tuesday.

Kane missed Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Manchester United with a hamstring injury but showed no visible sign of discomfort during a light session at Tottenham’s training base in north London.

The 24-year-old was able to complete some short sprints and basic passing drills while at one point he made a hand gesture appearing to suggest he felt fine.

His return at Wembley on Wednesday would be a huge boost for Tottenham, given Kane has scored five goals in three European games so far.

Pochettino is hopeful Kane will be ready to start against the European champions.

But, perhaps in a bid to keep Madrid guessing, he stopped short of declaring his forward was certain to feature.

“We’re very confident,” Pochettino said. “He’s on the list. Maybe it’s possible for him to play but I don’t want to say 100 percent.

“He trained today but it is important we make the right decision.”

Erik Lamela also trained on Tuesday, with the winger yet to make an appearance since recovering from a hip problem. Lamela has not played since October last year.

Tottenham are level on seven points with Real Madrid in Group H after the sides shared a 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu earlier this month.

After losing their last two games against Manchester United in the Premier League and West Ham in the League Cup, Pochettino’s side go into Wednesday’s match aiming to reestablish some momentum.

Pochettino called on his Tottenham stars to take the fight to Madrid as they bid for a famous victory.

“It’s a good opportunity and a great challenge. I have the belief we can win. I have faith in my players,” he said.

“We must play with freedom and enjoy the game. We have to show our quality.”

AFP

Real Overcome Resilient Atletico To Reach Champions League Final

Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, UEFA Champions LeagueReal Madrid on Wednesday advanced to the Champions League final after a tough battle with city rival Atletico.

Atletico came out strong in the early minutes of the game with a brace from Saul Niguez and Antoine Griezmann.

They were, however, unable to complete their three goals deficit from the first leg at Santiago Bernabeu, but instead allowed Isco to seal the final spot for visiting Real.

It will be a clash of the attackers versus defenders on June 3, when Real Madrid face Juventus in the final at the National Stadium of Wales in Cardiff.

Zinedine Zidane’s side won their 11th Champions League title last season, while Massimiliano Allegri’s men will be chasing their first title since 1996.

Perez Tags Ronaldo Symbol Of Best Club In Football History

Real Madrid President, Florentino Perez, Cristiano RonaldoReal Madrid President, Florentino Perez, has described Cristiano Ronaldo as the symbol of the best club in the history of football.

Perez says that the 31-year-old Portuguese is now a legend of the club, having scored 371 goals in 360 games to emerge Real’s all-time top scorer.

He made the remarks on Monday at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium where Ronaldo extended his contract with Madrid for another five years.

“You are now the big icon of the club, the symbol of the best club in the history of football.

“You have become the successor of those mythical giants and you’re defining an era.

“There will be a before and after of Cristiano Ronaldo (and) with Real Madrid, you have conquered everything.

“You’re already a Real Madrid legend because you have become the top scorer in the club’s history,” he said.

Perez hopes Ronaldo would win the Ballon d’Or as he highlighted some of the achievements and titles that made the player unique.

“After your success of last season with Real Madrid and the national team, it is only fair that you will soon have your fourth Ballon d’Or.

“You don’t get tired of winning and that is why Real Madrid want you to continue here forever,” he added.

Ronaldo Says Real Madrid Contract Is ‘Dream Come True’

Cristiano Ronaldo, Real MadridCristiano Ronaldo says he desires to stay with Real Madrid for many more years, describing the club as a dream come true for him.

Ronaldo said this on Monday when he sealed a new five-year deal with the club at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

“I want to thank the president, Real Madrid, the city, my teammates and all the people who helped me get to this point.

“It is a very special day for me, a very important day for my relationship with Real Madrid.

“This club is in my heart. It is a unique moment in my life, renewing for five more years.

“It is not the last contract because I want to stay here many more years,” happy Ronaldo told the club’s website.

The Portuguese added that he would keep doing his best for “This shirt and the best club in the world.

“I’ll give it my best, score goals and win trophies. I am very happy because it is a dream come true for me.”

Ronaldo is Real’s all-time top scorer with 371 goals in 360 games.

He is reported to be in line for an increase on his current salary which is estimated to be 21 million euros, making him the highest-paid player at the club.