Gareth Bale backs Real Madrid to get back to their best after Champions League victory over Roma

Bale has so far failed to step into the sizeable shoes left by Ronaldo. (AFP)
Updated 28 November 2018
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Gareth Bale backs Real Madrid to get back to their best after Champions League victory over Roma

  • Real have endured a terrible start to the La Liga season, already losing five matches.
  • The capital club, however, are finding form in Europe and have sealed top spot in Group G.

ROME: Gareth Bale has borne the brunt of criticism for Real Madrid’s recent decline but the Welsh forward hopes Tuesday’s 2-0 win at Roma to seal top spot in Champions League Group G can act as the catalyst to turn their faltering campaign around.
The 29-year-old has failed to score in his last nine league appearances and came in for scathing criticism following Saturday’s stunning 3-0 loss at Eibar, the three-times defending European champions fifth league defeat of the season.
He gave the ball away 20 times against the Basque side and registered just one shot on goal, with an online survey by Spanish newspaper Marca revealing Real fans did not want him to start in the Italian capital.
Rather like his team, though, he rose to the occasion in the Champions League and after a mixed first-half display, Bale broke the deadlock with his third goal in four European outings, later helping set up Lucas Vazquez to seal victory.
“The manager told us at halftime we needed to keep playing the way we know. And in the second half, we played very well, played the ball like we normally do. We got some confidence back and need to build on that now,” Bale said.
“We know obviously the start of the season was not exactly as we would like. We need to keep working hard together as a team to get the performances and get the results ... and get back up the table in the league.”
Bale has largely failed to fill the huge void left by Cristiano Ronaldo as Real have toiled domestically, sitting sixth in the La Liga and registering their worst goal difference after 13 league games in 18 years, scoring 20 and conceding 19.
He admitted to feeling disappointed with how the season has gone since the Portuguese talisman left to join Juventus.
“It has been a bit of a turbulent start to the season but we have to keep fighting every game no matter what position we are in. That is football, it can be frustrating sometimes when things are not quite coming off,” he added.
“But I know from experience you just have to keep working hard, together as a team, and we did that today.”


Platini released from custody after police questioning

Updated 19 June 2019
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Platini released from custody after police questioning

  • French authorities haven’t announced any charges against Platini
  • The authorities also questioned a sport adviser from the previous French president’s administration

PARIS: Former UEFA president Michel Platini was released from custody in the early hours of Wednesday after being questioned as part of a corruption investigation into the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.
His communication team said that Platini’s detention ended at 12:30 a.m. local time.
Platini had denied any wrongdoing and French authorities did not announce any charges against the former France and Juventus player.
“It was long, but given the number of questions it could not be different,” Platini said after his release. “They asked me questions about the 2016 Euro, the World Cup in Russia, the World Cup in Qatar, the Paris Saint-Germain, FIFA.”
Also questioned Tuesday were Sophie Dion, a sports adviser in former French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s administration, and Claude Gueant, the former secretary general of the Elysee presidential palace under Sarkozy.
Ahead of the FIFA vote, Sarkozy hosted a meeting in November 2010 that brought Platini together with Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, then the crown prince of Qatar and now its ruling emir. Al-Thani also owns the French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain, and Sarkozy frequently attends its games.
Qatar beat the long-favored United States 14 to 8 when FIFA selected the host country for the 2022 World Cup
As head of European soccer’s governing body UEFA, Platini was the continent’s top representative on the FIFA committee that picked Qatar.
French prosecutors are known to be investigating an array of winning bids for major sports events, including the 2018 World Cup, awarded to Russia, the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo and track and field world championships.

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READ MORE: TIMELINE: The trail of corruption allegations surrounding the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar

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