Some players are adept at scoring against a particular team. Others seem to draw inspiration from performing in a specific stadium. As far as Gareth Bale is concerned, it appears that the FIFA Club World Cup is a true source of motivation for him.
During Real Madrid’s first outing at UAE 2018, the dynamic Welshman scored a hat-trick against Asian champions Kashima Antlers to secure the Spanish club’s spot in the final of the prestigious competition. In fact, Bale’s statistics in the tournament are nothing short of remarkable:
He has now scored six goals in five matches
He is the third player to record a hat-trick in a Club World Cup game, after Luis Suarez (2015) and Cristiano Ronaldo (2016)
He has become the third player to hit the net in three different editions of the tournament, after Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo
“It’s a fantastic tournament, especially because it’s one of the most difficult to qualify for,” Bale told FIFA.com while his team-mates queued up to sign the match ball, as tradition dictates.
The attack-minded Wales international did not take part in Real Madrid’s last match in La Liga because he was still suffering some discomfort in his right ankle. Injuries have often complicated his career, and prior to Wednesday’s encounter, he appeared particularly focused, warming up carefully and testing out each movement.