The possibility of winning Europe’s most prestigious club competition in his hometown has given Wales winger Gareth Bale extra motivation to help Real Madrid become the first club to defend their Champions League title.
The former Tottenham Hotspur winger has won the Champions League twice in three years since his record-breaking move to Real in 2013. Manchester United’s Paul Pogba has since overtaken Bale as the world’s most expensive player.
If Bale were to achieve an unprecedented third Champions League title in this season’s final at Cardiff, it would make him the only Welshman to win the competition three times, surpassing Ryan Giggs, Ian Rush and Joey Jones.
“I played the (2014 European) Super Cup in Cardiff before and it was an amazing experience to have my friends and family close by,” Bale told British media.
“I suppose there’s a little more motivation if there needs to be any more and we’ll be trying to make history in Cardiff.
“We know we have a chance and we will be trying our best to do that. My aim is to win as many trophies as I can and as many Champions Leagues as I can.”
English Premier League clubs spent a staggering £1.165bn on new recruits during the close season but Bale felt the massive outlay will not necessarily translate into success on the continental stage.
“It is difficult winning the Champions League regardless. No matter what goes on in the transfer market or how much you spend you have to perform on those nights,” the 27-year-old said.
Bale dazzled for Spurs with several notable performances in their 2010-11 Champions League campaign.
The north London club return to the competition for the first time since that campaign and Bale was looking forward to a possible meeting against his former side.
“It is great to see them back, and doing well, I wish them well in the Champions League — until they play us,” he said.