Tuesday 26 May 2015

Carlo Ancelotti: Gareth Bale will only get better

Published 25/05/2014 | 12:22

Real Madrid's Marcelo celebrates after defeating Atletico Madrid in the their Champions League final
Real Madrid's Marcelo celebrates after defeating Atletico Madrid in the their Champions League final
Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid celebrates after scoring their fourth goal from the penalty spot
Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid celebrates victory in the UEFA Champions League Final between Real Madrid and Atletico de Madrid
Gareth Bale of Real Madrid celebrates scoring their second
Real's Gareth Bale, right scores his side's second
Real Madrid's Marcelo celebrates after scoring a goal against Atletico Madrid
Real Madrid's Gareth Bale celebrates after scoring his side's second goal
Real's Gareth Bale celebrates scoring his side's second goal
Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos celebrates after scoring
Atletico Madrid's coach Diego Simeone (C) encourages Toby Alderweireld and Miranda during extra time break
Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid heads in their first goal during the UEFA Champions League Final
Atletico Madrid's coach Diego Simeone (2ndL) complains to the referee about adding an extra minute after the end of the first half of the extra time
Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos celebrates after scoring a goal against Atletico Madrid
Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos celebrates after scoring a goal against Atletico Madrid
Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos celebrates after scoring a goal against Atletico Madrid during their Champions League final
Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos (C) celebrates after scoring a goal against Atletico Madrid
Gareth Bale of Real Madrid lines up during the UEFA Champions League Final between Real Madrid and Atletico
Gabi leads the team out during the UEFA Champions League Final between Real Madrid and Atletico
Diego Costa of Club Atletico de Madrid is replaced by Adrian Lopez
Juanfran and Gabi of Club Atletico de Madrid close down Ångel Di Maria and Fabio Coentrao
Diego Godin of Club Atletico de Madrid heads in the first goal
Gareth Bale of Real Madrid runs through on goal under the watchful eye of Tiago
A dejected Iker Casillas of Real Madrid looks to the ground after conceding the first goal
Diego Godin of Club Atletico de Madrid celebrates scoring the opening goal
Diego Godin of Club Atletico de Madrid celebrates scoring the opening goal
Real Madrid's Raphael Varane (C) clears the ball next to his team mate Gareth Bale (centre R) and Atletico Madrid's Raul Garcia (R)
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo reacts during their Champions League final soccer match against Atletico Madrid
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo reacts after missing a scoring opportunity during their Champions League final
Atletico's Diego Costa, rear, leaves the pitch and is replaced by Atletico's Adrian Lopez during the Champions League final
Real goalkeeper Iker Casillas, rear, catches the ball behind the line during the Champions League final
Diego Godin of Club Atletico de Madrid celebrates scoring the opening goal with Gabi
A dejected Iker Casillas of Real Madrid looks to the ground after conceding the first goal during the UEFA Champions League Final
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo goes for the ball with Atletico Madrid's Miranda (C) as Filipe Luis (R) runs up during their Champions League final
Iker Casillas of Real Madrid fails to stop the ball headed in by Diego Godin
Real Madrid's Gareth Bale (C) reacts to a missed chance during Real Madrid's Champions League final
Atletico de Madrid fans cheer their team at Vicente Calderon Stadium during the UEFA Champions League Final
Iker Casillas of Real Madrid watches Diego Godin of Club Atletico de Madrid's head the ball in for the first goal during the UEFA Champions League Final
Gareth Bale of Real Madrid shoots wide of the goal under pressure from Miranda and Tiago
Dejected Gareth Bale and Daniel Carvajal of Real Madrid look on during the UEFA Champions League Final between Real Madrid and Atletico de Madrid
An Atletico de Madrid fan looks on at Vicente Calderon Stadium before the UEFA Champions League Final match between Real Madrid CF and Club Atletico de Madrid
Gareth Bale of Real Madrid reacts after a missed chance at goal during the UEFA Champions League Final
Diego Godin of Club Atletico de Madrid celebrates scoring the opening goal with team mates

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has hailed the attitude of Gareth Bale after the Welshman scored the decisive goal that lifted the Spanish giants to Champions League glory.

With a pulsating final between city rivals Real and Atletico Madrid finely poised at 1-1, Bale struck five minutes into the second period of extra time to break the hearts of the recently-crowned Primera Division champions.

Having missed several chances throughout normal time, including a clear cut opportunity when through on goal when the tie was still goalless, Bale held his nerve to steer a header into an empty net after Angel di Maria had seen his initial shot saved by Atletico goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

His persistence impressed Ancelotti, who said: "It was very important because he had tried before, but he was unlucky in front of goal.

"But he turned up when he was needed."

It is the second time that Bale has scored the winner in a cup final in his first season with Real, with his solo goal against Barcelona in the Copa del Rey earning rave reviews.

Bale's strikes in showpiece encounters will go a long way to silencing the critics that doubted his ability to live up to his world record £85.3million price tag, and Ancelotti is confident the former Southampton and Tottenham midfielder is capable of improvement.

"All season Gareth has been good and he will be better next year," Ancelotti added.

Marcelo's strike and Cristiano Ronaldo's penalty gave the scoreline a rather flattering look as Real claimed a 4-1 victory and finally sealed the dream of 'La Decima', their 10th European Cup triumph.

"We're very proud of having won this for all Madrid fans," Ancelotti said. "Happiness is giving happiness to those who always follow us. The fans are very happy and that makes us happy.

"I have had a fantastic group of players who have always been professional and they showed that in this match too. Not only those who were delighted to be playing, but also those who were not playing.

"We've worked hard this season to achieve this."

Atletico had looked on course for a famous double as, having wrapped up the La Liga title last week, they took a 36th-minute lead on Saturday night through Diego Godin's header.

Yet their failure to double their lead ensured they were on the back foot for much of the final half hour and their defence was finally breached in the third minute of added-on time when Sergio Ramos headed home from a corner.

From then on, there was only going to be one winner, with several Atletico players showing visible signs of fatigue, yet boss Simeone, who was involved in an ugly on-field spat with Real defender Raphael Varane before the final whistle, was proud of his players.

"This fixture doesn't deserve one tear, when you give your life, there's nothing to say," he said.

"It's part of the game. You can win, you can lose. Today we lost but know that we gave everything. That exalts us and gives us the ability to continue growing."

The Argentinian added: "Now we rest, we have summer to restart and work in the same way."

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