Wales: Bale Hits Hat Trick In Giggs First Game In Charge

Ryan Giggs started his reign as Wales manager in spectacular style with Gareth Bale scoring a hat-trick in a 6-0 thrashing of China to become the nation’s leading goalscorer.

The Real Madrid forward, whose every touch was cheered by an enthralled home crowd, put Wales ahead inside three minutes with a fine run and finish clipped into the top corner.

Bale slotted in a second soon after to move level with Ian Rush’s mark of 28, before Sam Vokes’ deft flick and Harry Wilson’s excellent whipped effort on his 21st birthday gave the visitors a 4-0 half-time lead.

Vokes added his second and Wales’ fifth after the break, and then Bale sealed his hat-trick and surpassed Rush’s milestone with an assured low finish to complete the rout.

Giggs’ men will now play in Monday’s final of the China Cup friendly tournament, against the winner of the second semi-final between Uruguay and the Czech Republic on Friday.

Man U Alerted On Bale’s Availability

Real Madrid has contacted Manchester United to alert them to Gareth Bale’s availability.

El Confidencial says Bale is in a fight not to exhaust the diplomacy of Zinedine Zidane and the patience of president Florentino Perez due to his lengthy injury list.

Zidane knows that he is a player with whom he cannot count for a third of the season, at best.

There are also concerns from the Spanish side that his love of golf — which he often plays when he has time off — contributes to Bale’s back problems, it is reported.

Manchester United remain keen on Bale, while a return to former club Tottenham has also been mooted.

It is understood that Real Madrid would consider parting ways with Bale, who has won three Champions Leagues in four seasons with the club if they can recoup the £86m they paid Spurs to sign him over four years ago.


Zidane Hails Bale, Ronaldo For Real’s Win

Real Madrid’s coach Zinedine Zidane praised goal-scorers Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo, who netted twice in a 3-1 victory as Real Madrid finally claimed a Champions League win at Borussia Dortmund.

Christiano Ronaldo marked his 150th European game with second-half goals after Bale’s stunning early volley gave Real the lead at Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored Dortmund’s consolation goal with just over half an hour left, but the Germans were simply out-played by holders Real.

Having also netted twice against APOEL, Ronaldo has now scored four goals in just two Champions League games this season.

“I’m happy for Cristiano… again! I’m delighted for Ronaldo and Bale,” said Zidane.

This is the first time Dortmund have lost at home to Real in seven European games while holders Madrid have now scored in 38 successive Champion League games.

“It is difficult to play in this stadium, we have never won here, so this victory was important to us, and the whole game was good for us from start to finish,” said Zidane.

“We had a lot of ball possession, that was the key.

“Dortmund played as impressively as ever, but we compensated well.”

Dortmund shaded possession and matched Real’s tally of 16 shots on goal and Zidane wanted to see more chances converted.

“We could have scored more. We had chances. The important thing is to score more than our opponents and we did that,” said the Frenchman.

“The side worked hard – Isco, (Luka) Modric, Casemiro and (Toni) Kroos were marvellous.

“Everyone was brilliant. It was a tremendous game.”

The result leaves the Real top of Group H, just ahead of Tottenham Hotspur, who beat APOEL 3-0 away, with Dortmund third and six points adrift of Spurs, who they also lost 3-1 to in London.

Dortmund coach Peter Bosz gave an honest appraisal of his team, who were better than Real in virtually every statistic – apart from the scoreboard.

“We defend with 11 players and we attack with 11 players,” said the Dutchman, whose Dortmund shaded possession and match Real’s 16 shots on goal.

“We were just too late against a side who barely made a mistake and we have to defend better.

“We didn’t put any pressure on the ball during the game and it’s difficult against an opponent like that.

“We were always too late, we have to analyse the performance and do better in the future.

Dortmund should have been awarded a penalty with 13 minutes gone when Real captain Sergio Ramos cleared Maximilian Philipp’s shot off the line and the ball deflected off his hand.

“That was clearly a handball in the first-half, but we deserved to lose,” admitted Bosz.

Bale Silence Critics With Sizzling Goal Victory Win On Sunday

Gareth Bale believes he can still win over the Real Madrid faithful after silencing his critics with a sensational solo goal to seal a vital 3-1 win at Real Sociedad on Sunday.

Bale had been jeered by his own fans in Madrid’s 3-0 Champions League win over APOEL Nicosia in midweek for an underwhelming start to the season, particularly in Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence due to a five-game ban.

The Welshman failed to find the net as Real dropped points at home to Valencia and Levante to allow Barcelona to open up a four-point lead at the top of La Liga.

But Bale helped Madrid get back to winning ways in impressive style by ending Sociedad’s own 100 percent start to the season.

“It’s normal, it happens in football,” Bale told Spanish TV station Movistar of the criticism that has come his way.

“For me obviously I just have to try to keep my head down and keep working hard. That’s all I can do.

“I can’t control what goes on, I can only control how hard I work on the pitch.

“You go through ups and downs in your career, but it is how you bounce back.”

Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane believes Bale’s strike can be a turning point in his season.

Bale used his electric pace to burst past Kevin Rodrigues before dinking the ball over the advancing Geronimo Rulli.

“He needed to score a goal and in this manner. After a run of 60 meters, technically he finished it very well,” said Zidane.

However, the Frenchman insisted the man, who joined Madrid for a then world record fee in 2013, can still do much more to impress.

“I am happy for him, but for me, he is still not at his best. Little-by-little we are going to discover the best of Gareth.

“Today he played great, but I know he can do much more. We need to be patient.”

Despite his struggles of late, Bale has always shone at Anoeta as he added to his impressive record of six goals in five games in San Sebastian.

“It’s great to always score, but the most important thing was to get the three points for the team, get back on track and get back to winning ways,” added Bale.

The victory lifted Real up to fourth and ensured they remain just four points adrift of Barca, who had temporarily extended their lead to seven with victory at Getafe on Saturday.

“Today the most important thing was to win because when you look at the table and see Madrid so low down it is strange,” said Zidane.

“Now we are back on form, but we need to continue because we have another game on Wednesday.”

Bale Back On Top With Madrid’s Squad For Classico

Gareth Bale was included in Real Madrid’s 20-man squad for Sunday’s potential La Liga decider against Barcelona.

However, Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane was evasive on whether the Welshman would be fit to start after missing Madrid’s last two games.

Bale has been sidelined by an inflammation of the muscles around where he suffered ligament damage in his right ankle that kept him out for three months earlier in the season.

“He will be with us tomorrow,” said Zidane.

“You will see tomorrow what team we are going to start with.”

Madrid is in a commanding position as they look to seal a first La Liga title in five years.

Zidane’s men hold a three-point lead and also have a game in hand over Barcelona, but he insisted Madrid don’t feel like favourites, even with 85 000 at the Santiago Bernabeu behind them.

“We are not favourites. Maybe people looking from the outside can think that one team is more favourites than others.

“But we know we are playing a great team and we will prepare well.”

Madrid is also in higher spirits as they overcame Bayern Munich in a Champions League classic 4-2 on Tuesday to progress to the semifinals.

Meanwhile, Barca’s Champions League hopes were ended as Juventus held on to their 3-0 first leg lead to a 0-0 draw at the Camp Nou on Wednesday.

“If we think that we will be mistaken,” added Zidane on whether Barca’s confidence will have been shaken.

“They are a team that has shown what they can do throughout the season and won’t feel the pressure of playing at the Bernabeu.”


Source: SuperSport

Injury Stops Bale’s Sporting Trip To Gijon

Gareth Bale will miss Real Madrid’s trip to Sporting Gijon on Saturday and faces a race against time to be fit for Real’s Champions League quarter-final second leg against Bayern Munich on Tuesday.

Bale had to be replaced for the final half hour of Madrid’s 2-1 win in Munich on Wednesday after aggravating an ankle injury that saw him miss nearly three months earlier this season.

“He will not be with us tomorrow, that is clear, after that we will see,” Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said on Friday.

“It is a muscular problem, it is where he had his operation.

“When he started to play again it has bothered him.

“It is true that I am concerned. I don’t like to see my players injured and even more so in the final straight of the season.”

Bale has played just 25 times in all competitions this season due to various injuries and suspension.

Zidane is expected to make a series of changes from the side that started in Munich with the second leg in mind.

Two-goal hero in midweek Cristiano Ronaldo could be rested, whilst Pepe and Raphael Varane are also absent due to injury.

Real have made a positive start to a huge April with Barcelona also visiting the Santiago Bernabeu next weekend.

Zidane’s men have opened up a three-point lead over Barca at the top of the table and have a game still in hand.

Meanwhile, they remain on course to become the first team to retain the Champions League in 27 years.

“I think it is the DNA of this club, the more difficult the matches, the more the players respond,” added Zidane.

“We are all happy when the end of the season arrives with important matches.”

Gareth Bale Doubtful For El-Clasico

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has confirmed that Gareth Bale was withdrawn from the 2-1 win at Bayern Munich due to an injury concern.

The Wales international was taken off in the 59th minute of the holders’ Champions League quarter-final first-leg victory at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday.

Zidane later revealed that Bale, who only returned from a long-term ankle injury in February, was not feeling in good shape at half-time and was replaced by Marco Asensio as a precaution.

“Gareth Bale felt a tweak at half-time and I didn’t want to take any risks,” Zidane said. “He doesn’t feel so good, we hope it’s nothing major. But I’m happy with the substitution and with Marco Asensio’s performance.”

Bale reportedly told the media that he was “not too bad” as he made his way out of the stadium following the match.

The 27-year-old is likely to face further tests back in the Spanish capital ahead of a crucial run of games, with Madrid facing Sporting Gijon on Saturday before the home leg against Bayern and the Clasico against Barcelona to come next week.

Asensio produced a telling contribution in Bale’s stead, setting up Cristiano Ronaldo for his second goal that secured the victory.

Gareth Bale Ranks Dele Alli Among The Worlds Greatest Footballer

Alli has emerged as a key part of the Tottenham team over the past two seasons and his 16 goals and five assists in the Premier League this season have helped propel Spurs to second in the table, seven points behind leaders Chelsea.

England international and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli is good enough to play for any club in the world, according to Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale, himself a former Tottenham player.

Alli celebrated his 21st birthday only this week and British media are inevitably predicting Spurs will face a battle to hang on to such a talented young player this summer.

“In terms of his ability, he could play wherever he wants. He has achieved so much in a short time that he must have great confidence in his ability to affect games at a high level,” Bale told British media.

The Wales international broke the world transfer record when he left Tottenham for Real Madrid in 2013 and his success in Spain has convinced him that more British players should make the move to continental Europe.

“I’ve loved being part of a different culture and learning new things,” Bale added. “You’ve just got to be open-minded and be prepared to learn a language and experience the unfamiliar.

“But I also understand why some players are reluctant to move. Like a lot of people, some footballers want to stay close to friends and family.”


Source: Super Sport