- La Liga
Bale delighted with first Madrid hat-trick
Gareth Bale was delighted after scoring a 'perfect' hat-trick in Real Madrid's 4-0 La Liga win over Real Valladolid on Saturday, saying: "Everything I hoped for has come true".
Bale scored with his head, right foot and left foot in the game at the Bernabeu, ensuring a comfortable win for Madrid even with Cristiano Ronaldo missing with a thigh injury.
The former Tottenham winger had a frustrating start at the Bernabeu due to a number of niggling fitness issues, but he told Real Madrid TV after moving to eight goals in his last seven games for Los Blancos that everything had now clicked into place.
"It is always nice to get on the scoresheet - to get a hat-trick, especially at the Bernabeu, was a special moment for me," Bale said. "I am very happy here. I needed time to adapt after not having a preseason but I am improving now. Everything I hoped for has come true. The fans and the club are incredible."
Bale said there was still even better to come from him at Madrid, as he felt he was learning all time from playing and training alongside new teammates such as Ronaldo.
"I scored three goals but I hope to do better," he said. "I can do it. I want to keep improving and working hard during the matches and training sessions and learn from the best, like Cristiano Ronaldo. He is the best player in the world and he deserves the Ballon d'Or."
Bale also set up Madrid's other goal on Saturday for team-mate Karim Benzema, bringing him to six assists in his last seven club games.
"I always enjoy giving assists," he said. "I do play on the wing and that is part of my role to assist. It is great to get another one."
Asked whether his Spanish language skills were progressing as quickly as his performances on the pitch, the Wales winger reacted with a smile.
"Not yet, not yet," he said.
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