Madrid can win the Champions League, says Gareth Bale
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 of Sergio Ramos` sending off midway through the first-half as Bale opened the scoring with sumptuous dipping free-kick from 35 yards to put the hosts in front.
Umut Bult levelled for Galatasaray a minute later, but, despite the numerical disadvantage, 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 sat out the game due to a slight 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."
Bale`s goal was his fifth in his last six games as he has began to find top form following his reported 91 million euro ($124 million, £76 million) move from Tottenham Hotspur in September.
And he believes his free-kick was amongst that left Galatasaray keeper Eray Iscan flummoxed was one of the best he has ever scored.
"I am happy about the match and the goal. I`ve been practicing free-kicks and was lucky that this one came off. It is one of the best goals of my career."
With regular centre-forward Karim Benzema also rested on Wednesday, Bale ended up playing in a variety of positions across the frontline as he switched wings with Di Maria at times in the first period before spending the majority of the second through the middle.
However, with Ronaldo and Benzema expected to return for the visit of Valladolid on Saturday, Ancelotti insisted he still sees Bale`s best position as being on the right side of the attack.
"I think he is most dangerous when he plays on the right and has more chances to use his shot.
"He played very well tonight in different positions, but I think he is more comfortable when he plays on the right."