Gareth Bale left his comfort zone when he swapped Tottenham for Real Madrid in 2013.
It can’t be easy leaving a country where you have played for eight seasons to arrive in a country where you can’t speak the language and you have to prove yourself again - especially given the £85 million transfer fee.
However, the Welshman has admitted he moved to Madrid to realise his dream - to win the Champions League.
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It certainly didn’t take long for him to achieve that, just eight months in fact. Bale scored in extra-time during the 2014 Champions League final against Atletico Madrid as his side claimed their tenth victory in the competition.
Two years on, and the two opponents clash again at the same stage. And Bale played a big role in making it happen. Madrid and Manchester City drew 0-0 at the Etihad in the first-leg and the winger forced the only goal of the game as his cross was deflected into his own net by Fernando.
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It means Bale and his teammates have the chance to win their second Champions League in three years, and a chance to achieve his goal once again.
"The big reason why I decided to come to Real Madrid was to win the Champions League,” he said, per AS Sport, after the 1-0 victory over City.
“This is the club that's won it most, and there's a reason for that. Now we're in a position to win it again and it's just fantastic.”
Madrid have been faultless at home in the competition this season, winning all six matches, scoring 20 goals without conceding.
And Bale has thanked the fans for their part in the victory and hopes they can recreate that atmosphere in Milan on May 28.
"The fans were great, just as I'm sure they will be in Milan. They really got behind us, and we're very happy to have reached the final after two very tough games against Manchester City, in which we had to be at our best.
"The semi-finals are always like this, they're tight games, no team ever wins by a big margin. We put in a good performance, we were very good at the back and tonight we're going to enjoy the result. The final against Atlético de Madrid will be a very tough one. We know how they play and I hope that we can win it,” he added.
Of course, Bale’s relationship with this competition began long before he arrived in the Spanish capital. In October 2010, his name reverberated around the continent when he scored a sensational hat trick against European champions Inter Milan at the San Siro during a 4-3 defeat.
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