Gareth Bale believes Real Madrid have all it takes to end a 12-year Champions League title drought as they cruised into the last 16 with a 4-1 win over Galatasaray on Wednesday.
Nine-time winners Madrid made light work of Sergio Ramos’ sending off midway through the first-half as Bale opened the scoring with a dipping free-kick from 35 yards to put the hosts in front.
Umut Bulut levelled for Galatasaray a minute later, but Madrid were rampant after the break as goals from Alvaro Arbeloa, Angel di Maria and Isco extended Carlo Ancelotti’s men’s unbeaten run to six games, in which they have scored 26 goals.
Madrid’s victory was even more impressive as it was achieved without star man Cristiano Ronaldo as he was out due to a muscular injury. And with the favourite for this year’s Ballon d’Or still to return, Bale is confident Real can go all in the way in the Champions League this season.
“We showed character and good team spirit when playing a man short,” he told Real Madrid TV. “There are no limits to what we can achieve in the competition. We have a good chance of winning the Champions League this year.
“I am happy about the match and the goal. I’ve been practicing free-kicks and this is one of the best goals of my career,” said Bale, after scoring his fifth goal in the last six games following his reported USD 124 million move from Tottenham in September.