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Gareth Bale believes Real Madrid can get even better after rewriting Champions League history books

Date Posted,June 4, 2017

They have already rewritten the history books.

But this generation has the opportunity to achieve Champions League immortality and to make themselves the best of all time.

Real Madrid became the first team to retain the trophy in its current guise, Cristiano Ronaldo’s double took him to 600 career goals and three European Cups in four years makes it 12 in total.

They are feats which Real Madrid’s Galacticos could not manage, even Lionel Messi and Pep Guardiola together could not inspire Barcelona to such greatness and not since Bayern Munich’s three consecutive wins in the 1970s has a team been so dominant in Europe.

Even Zinedine Zidane has won as many Champions League trophies in 20 games as Jose Mourinho has managed in his whole career.

Bale celebrates with his team-mates at full-time (Photo: Getty)
Bale lifts the Champions League trophy in Cardiff (Photo: Getty)
It was the third Champions League that Bale won with Real (Photo: Getty)

They simply blew Juventus apart in the second half with a performance of near perfection which highlighted the gap between Real Madrid and the rest.

But it feels like this is just the beginning for Real Madrid because, while Ronaldo is 32, he has reinvented himself, they have a wonderful blend of stars and workers in midfield and a determination to get even better in defence.

It is why Gareth Bale believes there is much more to come from this team and they can emulate and better the achievements of AC Milan, Barcelona and even the great Real Madrid team of the 1950s.

Bale said: “I don’t see why not. We have won three Champions Leagues in four seasons so we have to be in that category.

Ronaldo played a starring role for Real (Photo: David Ramos)
Ronaldo celebrates his second goal of the final with Bale (Photo: REUTERS)
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“All we can keep doing is keep working hard and hopefully there will be more to come. I think we can get better.

“We are still quite young as a whole team and we have a great squad. We haven’t just got a great eleven, we have a great squad so if any injuries come along there are other people who can do a job. We are strong at the moment. We are confident and the plan is to win more.”

They have already become history makers by retaining the Champions League – the first team since AC Milan won back-to-back European Cups in 1990 when it was still a straight knock-out competition – and Bale says that will only inspire them.

Real became the first team to defend the Champions League in its current format (Photo: Matthias Hangst)
Real are dominating European football (Photo: REUTERS)
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“I think it adds to the history of this club,” said Bale. “This club is the biggest in Champions League history ever and now we have even more. It’s great to be a part of and we want to make more.”

What is also incredible is the obsession that Wales superstar Bale should want to come “home” any time soon and return to the Premier League. Swap the glory of Madrid for Manchester.

And the idea that Bale has struggled to live up to his £85m price tag is even more absurd as he has won seven trophies in four years, including three European Cups.

Bale celebrates the triumph with Sergio Ramos (Photo: Laurence Griffiths)
The Welshman’s friends joined the party on the pitch at full-time (Photo: AFP)

Admittedly, Bale was a periphery figure in Cardiff, his dream of being the homecoming hero ruined by a calf and ankle injury but his introduction as a substitute was greeted with the biggest cheers of the night.

By then, Real Madrid had already won the game. Ronaldo scored twice, Casemiro and Marco Asensio also on target to overwhelm Juventus and make Mario Mandzukic’s wonder goal just a footnote.

Zidane has been clever in that, despite him being a former member of the Galacticos himself, was not afraid to pick Casemiro – a graduate of the B team – rather than go for a bigger name and even gave in to sentiment to give Bale a run-out.

Casemiro’s strike helped Real on their way to victory (Photo: AFP)
Ronaldo scored Real’s third shortly after Casemiro’s strike (Photo: AFP)
Real Madrid's Marco Asensio scores their fourth goal
Asensio ensured that the scoreline would look flattering for Real (Photo: REUTERS)

Bale added: “It was a very special occasion for me personally. It was an incredible feeling to lift that trophy here. There’s always a first for everything. It’s why you’re a footballer, it’s the reason I came here (to Madrid).

“I always knew really (that he was not starting) because I’d only been training for five days with the team and I was really lucky to be involved, to be honest.

“It’s been a tough year with a lot of football and the injuries, but the main thing for me is to get my ankle sorted and give it that rest it needs. I came back too early from the surgery. But I still have finished the season happy, it’s a great finish with another trophy.

“It will be fine in the long term. It just needs to be given recovery time. There is scar tissue and all that and it takes time to get rid of it. It needs a good rest now for the summer and some good rehab on it and then it will be fine for next season.”

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