Bale aims to make Champions League history in hometown
Gareth Bale will become only the sixth player ever to lift the European Cup in his hometown if Real Madrid win the final in Cardiff next June
Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale said on Wednesday he has an extra incentive to reach a third Champions League final in four years because the title game will be played in his hometown of Cardiff.
"This is the reason I came to Madrid - to play in the Champions League, to win the Champions League," the 27-year-old Bale said in an interview with UEFA.com. "To have the Champions League final in my home town is an even bigger motivation," he said.
Bale will become only the sixth player in history to lift the European Cup or Champions league in the city of their birth if Real Madrid win the competition next June.
The Wales international helped Real beat Atletico Madrid on penalties to march to their 11th European title and his second with the club in the 2015-16 campaign before playing for his country at Euro 2016. "Two in three years is an amazing achievement," he said. "Now we want to look to the next one."
Injuries limited Bale to 30 appearances in all competitions for Real last season but the former Tottenham star still scored 19 goals and provided 10 assists.
UEFA Best Player award
Bale is on a 10-man shortlist for UEFA's Best Player in Europe award. The winner will be announced on Thursday in Monaco during the 2016-17 Champions League draw.
"It was an incredible season, especially topping it off by winning the Champions League and then going on to the Euros and doing an amazing job with Wales," he said. "They were two great moments in my career, in my life."
Wales made it to the semi-finals before falling to eventual champions Portugal in July. Bale has had a strong start in his fourth season with Real, scoring twice in his team's 3-0 win at Real Sociedad in their La Liga opener on Sunday.