But then, there are not-so-awesome Welshmen, such as one Gareth Bale. He's the most expensive signing in football history, not particularly funny (well, except for his hair) and he scored the winning goal in Lisbon two years ago. And on Tuesday evening, he said something very curious on Spanish radio.
Speaking to Cadena COPE's "El Partido de las 12," Bale said the following:
No need to break out the dictionaries, kids. Bale just said "To me, no Atlético player would feature in Real Madrid's XI."
Let's see, where to start with this one...
This is the age-old dilemma isn't it? Bale answered what was clearly a loaded question. If he had said "well, you know, I think Diego Godín, Koke and Jan Oblak would get into my team, I don't know about you guys," that becomes a PR nightmare for Real and the fans turn on him. This was the only way he could answer that particular question. Doesn't mean we can't deride him for it, just means there was an element of pressure fans sometimes don't appreciate fully.
Moving on, Bale's answer also goes to show once again the wildly different attitudes between Real and Atlético Madrid players. Atleti showed great respect during its media day; Diego Simeone praised the work Zinedine Zidane has done at Real while the players shied away from talk of "revenge," simply referring to the final as "a new opportunity" and hoping to come out on top in a difficult, intense game.
On the other hand, Cristiano Ronaldo talked about his firm belief that Real are better than their inferior neighbors and all that needed to be done was prove it on the field, while Bale went a step further and echoed Guti's sentiments from three months ago. Remember what happened after Guti said essentially the same thing?
That was on two days' rest, too, if you'll recall.
Not that Atlético needed someone other than Simeone to give a team talk, but perhaps the players got motivation they were not anticipating on Tuesday night.