Champions League

Every time Gareth plays he makes an impact - Giggs

2018-05-22 14:46
Gareth Bale (Twitter)

London - Wales manager Ryan Giggs has warned Liverpool that Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale can make the difference in the Champions League final.

Bale is not certain to start Saturday's showdown in Kiev, despite scoring five goals in four La Liga games for the reigning European champions.

But Wales manager Giggs said the 28-year-old has the right mindset to make a decisive contribution from the bench, if that is the role given to him by manager Zinedine Zidane.

"Every time Gareth plays he makes an impact," said Giggs. "It just shows the professional he is that he's not sulking (when he's a substitute) as he always seems to come on and score.

"He's one of the best players in the world and every time he comes on to that pitch he makes a difference. Again that's a credit to his professionalism, his hunger and desire to get in the team for that final."

A 13th European title for Real on Saturday would see Bale equal the record of Champions League wins, or its European Cup predecessor, by a British player.

Former Liverpool defender Phil Neal currently holds the record outright with four victories and Bale would match that tally after five seasons in Madrid.

And despite having his critics in Spain, Bale has still managed to score 19 goals this season in an injury-hit campaign.

"Gareth always had potential, but he's gone on to pass that potential," Giggs said. "He's been playing at a top club for a long time where brilliant players have notoriously not lasted very long.

"He has been a huge success for club and country and one of the best British players to have gone abroad because of what he's achieved."

But Giggs, as Manchester United's record appearances holder, admits it is hard to see Liverpool just 90 minutes away from being crowned European champions.

"As a United fan, and playing for United for so long, it is difficult," Giggs added. "They are our main rivals for a reason - they've got great history, they're a brilliant club and it's hard for a United fan to take.

"When I was playing you didn't want rivals to go and win European Cups. But in those situations you just have to look after yourselves and try and win things."

Kick-off is at 20:45 (SA time).

 

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Fixtures
Tuesday, 26 November 2019
Lokomotiv Moscow v Bayer Leverkusen, Lokomotiv Stadium 19:55
Galatasaray v Club Brugge, Turk Telekom Arena 19:55
Juventus v Atletico Madrid, Allianz Stadium 22:00
Atalanta v Dinamo Zagreb, Atleti Azzurri d'Italia 22:00
Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk, Etihad Stadium 22:00
Real Madrid v Paris SG, Santiago Bernabeu 22:00
Red Star Belgrade v Bayern Munchen, Stadion Rajko Mitic 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Olympiacos, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 22:00
Wednesday, 27 November 2019
Valencia v Chelsea, Mestalla 19:55
Zenit St. Petersburg v Lyon, Saint Petersburg Stadium 19:55
Liverpool v Napoli, Anfield 22:00
Barcelona v Borussia Dortmund, Camp Nou 22:00
Slavia Prague v Inter Milan, Eden Arena 22:00
Genk v Red Bull Salzburg, Luminus Arena 22:00
RB Leipzig v Benfica, Red Bull Arena 22:00
Lille v Ajax, Stade Pierre-Mauroy 22:00
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
Red Bull Salzburg v Liverpool, Red Bull Arena 19:55
Napoli v Genk, San Paolo 19:55
Ajax v Valencia, Amsterdam ArenA 22:00
Benfica v Zenit St. Petersburg, da Luz 22:00
Lyon v RB Leipzig, Groupama Stadium 22:00
Inter Milan v Barcelona, San Siro 22:00
Borussia Dortmund v Slavia Prague, Signal Iduna Park 22:00
Chelsea v Lille, Stamford Bridge 22:00
Wednesday, 11 December 2019
Dinamo Zagreb v Manchester City, Maksimir Stadium 19:55
Shakhtar Donetsk v Atalanta, Metalist Stadium 19:55
Bayern Munchen v Tottenham Hotspur, Allianz Arena 22:00
Bayer Leverkusen v Juventus, BayArena 22:00
Club Brugge v Real Madrid, Jan Breydel Stadion 22:00
Olympiacos v Red Star Belgrade, Karaiskakis Stadium 22:00
Paris SG v Galatasaray, Parc des Princes 22:00
Atletico Madrid v Lokomotiv Moscow, Wanda Metropolitano 22:00
Saturday, 30 May 2020
TBA v TBA, Ataturk Olympic Stadium 02:00
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