Bale can ‘win games on his own’

Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale has won two Champions League titles with Real Madrid

Wales’ Gareth Bale is a player who can win a game on his own, according to Real Madrid legend Emilio Butragueno.

26-year-old Bale won a second Champions League title with Real prior to joining Wales’s pre-Euro 2016 training camp.

“Gareth is at the age where he is at the peak of his game, with enough experience and magnificent physical capability,” he told BBC Sport.

“Naturally, every day is a chance to improve and get better and Gareth still has many years of football ahead.”

Bale scored seven goals as Wales qualified for the finals of a major championship for the first time since the 1958 World Cup.

They start their Euro 2016 campaign against Slovakia on 11 June before playing England and Russia.

Butragueno won six La Liga titles during his time with Real and finished runner up with Spain in the 1984 European Championships.


Emilio Butragueno scored against Wales on his debut for Spain in October 1984

“He [Bale] is a spectacular player, he’s a very powerful player, very fast who manages the ball really well, who scores goals and therefore he could literally win a game on his own,” he continued.

“There aren’t many players in the world who are capable of this, therefore he is a much-loved man and we know that.”

Despite a mixed second season with Real following a debut campaign which saw him clinch a first Champions League, Bale had a more successful third season and Butragueno believes he will stay at the club for the foreseeable future.

“When Gareth is fit, we know there is a greater chance of achieving our goals. He has been with us for three years and we hope he will stay for many more,” he added.

“We are confident he will be a fundamental player for us over the coming years and will leave a lasting legacy at the club.

“We are talking here about one of the best players in the world. We [Madrid] are thrilled with Gareth. Truly, he’s an extraordinary player who is very committed and for us he’s an essential player.”

Gareth Bale: Euro Star – BBC One Wales, Friday 3 June at 20:30 BST and 23;25 BST on all other BBC One regions.

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