Bale praises Ronaldo support since joining Real Madrid in a record move
Gareth Bale has praised Cristiano Ronaldo for his support since joining Real Madrid as the club prepare for the Champions League final against city rivals Atletico.
Bale overtook Ronaldo as the world’s most expensive player when he signed for Los Blancos for a fee of around £85m last summer.
Much was made upon Bale’s arrival of how the two would operate alongside each other, but throughout the season the pair have thrown compliments back-and-forth in the media.
Bale has now fired more flattery Ronaldo’s way, this time praising the 2013 Ballon d’Or winner for more than just his quality on the pitch.
He told the Daily Mail: "Cristiano has been very supportive. From the first day I came in, he has been there for me. On day one, he gave me advice on the best areas to live and stuff like that.
"We talk a lot; we have a good relationship on and off the pitch.
"I’ve learned a bit of everything from him. The way he plays and gets himself into certain positions; it’s a chance to learn off one of the best in the world. Hopefully, that will improve me as a player."
Ronaldo has continued his fine goalscoring form this season, with 50 in all competitions, but Bale arguably scored the biggest of Real’s season so far – the winner in the Copa del Rey final.
He showed an incredible turn of pace to out-sprint Barcelona’s Marc Bartra and strike the killer blow in a 2-1 victory with five minutes to go.
He said: "That is what any player wants to do, score big goals in big games.
"I was just purely focused on the ball and if I am in a sprint with whoever, I fancy myself to beat them.
"It was obviously great to score the goal, and the important thing was to win the first trophy of the season. That gave us a lot of confidence."
On Saturday, this current crop of Real Madrid stars have the chance to become legends by winning the club’s 10th European Cup.
It would be their first European success since Zinedine Zidane’s wonder-strike secured a 2-1 victory against Bayer Leverkusen at Hampden Park in 2002.
The only thing that stands between them and another success is a trip to Lisbon to take on city rivals – and newly crowned La Liga champions – Atletico Madrid.
Bale admits he can feel the anticipation in the city rising but says the players must be careful not to get caught up in it.
He said: "It would be a dream to win it.
"The time was right to go to Madrid. I am really glad I did it. I am trying to embrace everything, trying to enjoy the ride.
"I always had confidence in my ability and the fact we are now chasing the 10th title, against our city rivals, is very exciting.
"Madrid has a real buzz about it. It’s football mad at the best of times but there’s a real sense of anticipation.
"It’s important that we enjoy the atmosphere but remain focused on the match itself. That’s why you play for a huge club like Real Madrid."