When Gareth Bale signed his first professional contract with Southampton on his 17th birthday, I'm sure even he didn't expect that he would eventually break the world record for a football transfer.
The Cardiff-born midfielder's career has gone from strength to strength, with no sign of the 24-year-old's £86million price tag weighing him down.
But as the player's first season in the Spanish capital comes to an end, culminating in an all-Spanish Champions League final between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid in Lisbon next Saturday, Bale spoke exclusively to BT Sport's Claire Balding.
"It’s going to be very interesting. I think it’s the first time it’s ever happened with one major city having two teams in the final but it’s going to be a difficult game.
"We know how well they’ve played this season and we know what we’re capable of, so I think as long as we execute our game plan on the day then hopefully we win. I think we have a lot of confidence going into the game and something we’re looking forward to. It would a dream come true to life the trophy."
When asked what his highlight had been in his first season in the Spanish capital, Bale said: "I’d probably say so far it’s the highlight that sticks out for me is scoring the winning goal. [in the Copa Del Rey final]
The unforgettable goal of which Bale is referring to exercised power, pace, agility and composure, as the winger glided past Marc Bartra in the Barcelona defence, even skipping off the pitch for a few seconds, before neatly finishing past Fabio Pinto to seal his piece of silverware in Spain.
"Maybe at some other points the referee would have called it a foul or if it was a smaller pitch I obviously wouldn’t have been able to carry on running, but I knew if I got around him which was possible, that I’d be in on goal and I was literally just concentrating on the ball.
"I didn’t even know how far I went off, I just kept going and going and knew there wasn’t long left and hopefully I could score and thankfully I did."
Bale's Madrid aim to make it a cup double with a Champions League win, having ended their title chase in La Liga following a 2-0 loss to Celta Vigo at the weekend.
Gareth Bale was speaking on The Clare Balding Show, to see the full interview tune in to BT Sport 1 at 8pm on Thursday 15 May.
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