Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Bale: Best is yet to come

Gareth Bale scored two sensational free-kicks in Tottenham's Europa League victory over Lyon

Gareth Bale sent out a warning to Tottenham's rivals by declaring he is yet to reach his peak.

Bale came to Tottenham's rescue once again on Thursday night by scoring two sensational free-kicks to hand Andre Villas-Boas' men a 2-1 victory over Lyon in the Europa League. The former Southampton man is now being talked about as one of the best players in the world, but at just 23-years-old, he insists there is more to come from his game yet.

"It's probably the best I've been playing so far in my career, but I've still got room for improvement," Bale said after the 2-1 win. "Season after season I have to improve in all areas. I just want to keep doing that, keep working hard and, hopefully, keep getting better."

He added: "I've just got to keep my head down, keep working hard, keep trying to keep my form."

Without the 15 goals scored by the in-form Welshman, Spurs would sit 10th in the Barclays Premier League, rather than fourth.

Two seasons ago Bale had the world at his feet when he made a mockery of Inter Milan's Maicon at White Hart Lane, but his game has come on hugely since. He has become quicker, more powerful and his finishing ranks among the best in the league.

Bale's match-winning heroics, and the way he strikes the ball from free-kicks, has led to comparisons with Cristiano Ronaldo. Indeed, the Real Madrid forward would have been proud of the Spurs star's two set-piece finishes on Thursday night.

Bale opened the scoring with a shot which dipped over the wall and beat Remy Vercoutre from some 35 yards. He then sealed the win after Samuel Umtiti's equaliser with a curling 20-yard effort with just 10 seconds of injury time remaining.

"I knew it was the last kick of the game but I had to get it up and over the wall and thankfully I saw it go in," Bale said.

"I've been practicing for ages now from all sorts of distances. It's one of those things I think if you keep practicing, it does come off in a match."

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