• La Liga

Bale targets European success with Madrid

ESPN staff
September 12, 2013
Bale edges closer to Real debut

Gareth Bale says he is already focused on helping deliver the long awaited tenth European Cup trophy for Real Madrid.

Bale has yet to make his debut for his new side following his €101 million move from Tottenham, but he has already learned the importance to all at the Bernabeu of ending an 11-year wait for 'la decima'.

The Welsh winger told AS at an event to launch Madrid's new orange change strip after training on Thursday that he had no problem accepting the pressure that such high expectations generated.

'A debut impossible to forget'

Jonathan Woodgate scored an own goal and was sent off on his Bernabeu bow © Getty Images
  • With Gareth Bale set to make his first appearance for Real Madrid on Saturday after his £86 million move from Tottenham, we look back at another player who swapped the Premier League for La Liga.
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"I have already learned how to say 'la decima'," Bale said. "At this club you must win every game, we go into every training session and every game with this objective. Not just the Champions League. Of course there is pressure because at Madrid you have to win every game. We are going to work hard to do that."

Bale has been on international duty with Wales for most of the fortnight since his long expected move from Spurs was finally concluded, but has now completed two training sessions with his new team-mates. He said that everyone - especially Cristiano Ronaldo - had been great in helping him settle in.

"Obviously, the lads have been good to me this first few days," he said. "Cristiano is a great guy, he has made me feel good and I hope to do well on the pitch with him. I am looking forward to getting out onto the pitch and to play with him, that is one of the reasons I came here."

The new world's most expensive player [according to his former team, if not Madrid who still say the final fee was 'just' €91m] did not rule out making his debut in Saturday evening's Primera Division game at Villarreal.

"It is something I will have to talk about with the manager," he said. "I will decide [if I am fit] on the day of the game. I have done two tough sessions and I am getting better. I hope to be ready quickly."

Injuries picked up on international duty by Marcelo and Fabio Coentrao have led to speculation that Bale could make his first Madrid appearance in his old position of left back - which would be unusual for a player with such a high fee, who scored 31 goals from an attacking midfield slot last season.

Asked where he saw himself playing for his new team, Bale said he would be happy to contribute wherever chosen by new coach Carlo Ancelotti.

"I will play in the position on the field that the manager tells me, and I will give 100% for the team there," he said. "I hope that I settle in very well and I will work for that in every game. I hope you will soon see that on the pitch."

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