Gareth Bale seemed more than a little fired up when he spoke to the media ahead of the UEFA Champions League group stages kicking off this week.
[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]
The Wales and Real Madrid star, who scored twice in the UCL final victory over Liverpool (including this stunner) in May revealed that he couldn’t believe that goal wasn’t on the shortlist for UEFA’s Goal of the Season.
He also spoke about Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure from Real over the summer and the impact it has had on the Santiago Bernabeu club.
“Obviously it’s going to be a little different from having such a big player there,” Bale told the Daily Mail. “It’s maybe a bit more relaxed, yes. I suppose there is more of a team, more working as one unit rather than one player.”
Bale carried on his forthright views when it came to the panel who failed to select his stunning overhead kick goal (Ronaldo’s overhead kick versus Juventus in the UCL quarterfinal won the award) among the finalists for the Goal of the Season.
“I don’t know how it wasn’t on that list!” Bale said. “I want to know who is on the panel because they want to be sacked.”
Bale is somewhat relaxed when it comes to his image off the pitch and he doesn’t give many interviews.
With Ronaldo no longer at Real Madrid, it appears more of the spotlight can now be cast on Bale as he aims to replace the Portuguese superstar.
Let’s see if he can get anywhere close to the number of goals Ronaldo scored (450 in 438 appearances in all competitions), but there’s no denying that Bale, and Real’s other attackers will have a greater lease of life this season and there will be extra pressure on them to deliver.
He’s talked the talk. Now he must walk the walk.