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Gareth Bale nets first hat-trick in almost three years for Real Madrid

Gareth Bale just needed 55 minutes to score three goals against Kashima in the Club World Cup, booking Real Madrid's place in the final against Al Ain.

Soccer Football - Club World Cup - Semi-Final - Kashima Antlers v Real Madrid - Zayed Sports City Stadium, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - December 19, 2018  Real Madrid's Gareth Bale celebrates scoring their third goal   REUTERS/Andrew Boyers

Gareth Bale has scored his first hat-trick for almost three years and needed just 55 minutes to do so in the Fifa World Club Cup semi-final against Kashima in Abu Dhabi. 

The Welshman is just the third player in Club World Cup history to net a hat-trick, after Luis Suarez and Cristiano Ronaldo. He also joins Lionel Messi and Ronaldo to become just the third player in the tournament's history to score in three seperate editions.

The hat-trick was enough to secure Madrid's place in the final against Al Ain, which will take place on Satuday, and brings his tally to 10 goals in 21 games across all competitions this season.

Bale's last hat-trick came in January 2016 against Deportivo La Coruña, in which was former coach Zindene Zidane's first game in charge following the sacking of Rafa Benitez. That game finished 5-0, with his strike partner Karim Benzema scoring the other two goals to give Zidane the perfect start to his Madrid coaching career. 


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