Real Madrid vs Sevilla Uefa Super Cup 2014: Gareth Bale wants silverware to be the focus ahead of Cardiff homecoming
Bale calls for focus ahead of the all-Spanish clash but admits it's 'great to be back home'
Tuesday 12 August 2014
Gareth Bale wants the attention to be on securing silverware rather than any sentimental homecoming when he lines up for Real Madrid in Tuesday's UEFA Super Cup clash against La Liga rivals Sevilla.
A capacity 30,000-plus crowd will be present at Cardiff City Stadium, with the likes of Wales star Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos set to take centre-stage for the Champions League title holders.
And while Cardiff-born former Whitchurch High School pupil Bale admits it is "great to be back home", he also knows there is a job to be done.
"Every season we want to win every trophy we're in for," said Bale, speaking during Real's pre-match press conference.
"We will be trying our best to win the Champions League and the Spanish League again.
"It's great to be back home, but the most important thing is to win the game and the cup.
"We need to focus on that and not on me playing in my home town.
"It was a great season last year winning trophies, but the most important thing now is to win the Super Cup, and it doesn't matter who scores the winning goal."
A year ago Bale was waiting to complete his £86million world record transfer from Tottenham, and the winger admitted he took time to settle at the Bernabeu after missing out on pre-season.
But the 25-year-old insists he is in peak fitness at the start of this campaign, though he denied press reports that he had put on muscle.
"I haven't done anything," said Bale. "I've done a bit of training in the off-season, a bit of running.
"It was just pure conditioning training, I've worked hard in the off-season and feel in good shape.
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"It's a lot easier having pre-season under your belt rather than wait for a transfer to go through.
"I feel in better shape and can start the season with a better tempo."
Sevilla coach Unai Emery, meanwhile, is well aware of Bale's threat.
Bale shone for Real against Sevilla last season, which is an experience etched in Emery's memory after he scored twice during a 7-3 Real romp.
"We unfortunately got to know him in the first match he played (against Sevilla), and he was already at an extremely high level," Emery said.
"It was a beautiful game for spectators, but an ugly game for Sevilla. Bale was the star.
"It hasn't surprised me how quickly he has adapted (with Real Madrid), based on the fact he's a great player and a great athlete.
"He has adapted quickly, and it's down to his character and personality. His style and his team match, and that has been key to his success."
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