Euro 2016: Gareth Bale says he does not need to copy Cristiano Ronaldo's free-kicks
Gareth Bale has scored in the first two games for Wales in the Euros, and both have been amazing free-kicks. His Real Madrid team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo, on the other hand, has struggled to get his set-pieces right in recent times.
Gareth Bale could become the first player to score three direct free-kicks in a single European Championship and he could achieve that unique feat against Russia. The Welshman said that he practices free-kicks with Ronaldo, but he also insisted that he was his own man and did not try to copy the three-time Ballon d’Or winner.
“We practice together in training. But no, I do it my own way - I like my own style.
“I put a lot of practise in, even now after training I am there hitting balls doing what I normally do when I was in Madrid and at Tottenham.
“Nothing has changed, I just carry on my routine. But the Euro 2016 ball is definitely different from the La Liga ball or the Premier League ball.
“When you do hit this one nice it does move a lot. You do feel for the keepers a little bit – but it is good for us.
“When they do go in it is nice to see the hard work pay off, it was great to see two goals go in so far.”
I knew Joe Hart was not going to gamble – Bale
Gareth Bale has scored two excellent free-kicks already and he spoke about how he outwitted Joe Hart in the game against England.
“We did our research knowing Joe is not going to gamble as if it goes on the keeper’s side they really do get the blame.
“I was always going to go over the wall because I knew he wasn’t going to gamble. When I hit it against England it started in the middle and then just dropped fast.
“In the third game I don’t know what I am going to do – hopefully I can score another one. I hit it slightly different depending how close or how far I am.
“You always stand over it thinking: ‘please just go in’.”
Wales have impressed everyone with their performances in the first two games, but a defeat to Russia could still see them exit from the tournament. When asked about it, Bale said:
“It would be devastating but we don’t want to really think about it to be honest, we are confident.”