Gareth Bale is clear that Real Madrid cannot miss the opportunity to win the Champions League title once again on Saturday.
Los Blancos play Atletico Madrid in a repeat of that famous night in Lisbon two years ago, where Carlo Ancelotti’s team became the first club to reach the milestone of ten titles in the competition.
Bale spoke to ‘The Party of 12’ on COPE and analysed the showdown with the Rojiblancos and his career so far as a Real player.
“Reaching a final is fine, but to lose a final is as big as being the ultimate failure,” the former Tottenham Hotspur player began.
“When we confront the final we will only think about winning.
“It will be a very different game [compared to the Lisbon final in 2014], but we have more experience and can hopefully get the same result.
“I have fond memories of the Stadio San Siro [scoring a hat-trick against Inter in 2010].
“I don’t know the history of Real [at the stadium] but it’s not very important at this stage, what will happen will happen.”
As the Lisbon final ticked into extra-time after Sergio Ramos’ dramatic equaliser, Bale was the instigator of the three-goal avalanche that floored Atletico and won La Decima for Real.
“I remember the goal very vividly,” he continued.
“First as [Angel] Di Maria shot and [Thibaut Courtois] had trouble stopping the ball.
“I remember seeing the ball as if it had been suspended two days in the air, connecting with it and getting the goal.”
Bale was allegedly one of the players saddened by Rafa Benitez’s sacking in January this year but says he’s now enjoying life under new coach Zinedine Zidane, who has transformed the Merengues’ fortunes at the back end of the season.
“I’m now enjoying Zidane, I have more freedom, we’re playing good football and as a team have reached the final,” Bale added.
“He’s done a great job and it’s not my decision if he continues or not [as coach next season].
“Obviously the good work deserves to continue, but I repeat, it’s a decision that is not for me to decide.”
The 26-year-old has continuously been linked with a move away from the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, with potential suitors including FA Cup winners Manchester United who look set to appoint former Real coach Jose Mourinho.
Bale has, however, reiterated that he is happy in the Spanish capital and wants to see out his current contract.
“The Blancos can relax, I still have three years on my contract and everyday I’m enjoying my football here and feel very comfortable,” he concludes.
“It was hard to get to [Spain], for the British it’s complicated to adapt and live here.
“We have the difficulty with the language but obviously I’m settled and am very happy here.”