Real Madrid's Gareth Bale on hat trick

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale on hat trick

A Gareth Bale hat-trick gives Real Madrid a 3-1 victory over Kashima Antlers in Wednesday's FIFA Club World Cup semi-final in Abu Dhabi.

Having missed Madrid's last two games with an ankle injury, Bale was withdrawn after an hour to keep him fit for Saturday's final against hosts Al Ain, who joined Luis Suarez and Cristiano Ronaldo as the others to score a hat trick in the current Club World Cup format.

The Spain global is under contract at Real Madrid until 2022, but for the first time is seriously considering leaving after falling out of favour with coach Santiago Solari.

Kashima did start brightly, Serginho finding room in the Madrid defence to get in a second-minute shot that was tipped wide by Thibaut Courtois, with Gen Shoji glancing a free header wide from the resulting corner. "We are happy with him and we hope he can do it in the final, too".

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale celebrates scoring one of his three goals. We knew that it would be a hard game against a team that's going to make it hard for us.

"Throughout my [early] career, I played from the left wing", Bale said.

"I have the maximum admiration and respect for all my fellow coaches, especially those who have been at this club and given us joy", Solari said.

There were high expectations for Bale following the Portuguese forward's departure for Juventus this year, with Real suggesting they did not need to make a new Galactico signing because the former Tottenham Hotspur player could fill the void. "It's not for me to say if he should come to Real Madrid, but I really appreciate all he did for me at this club". "All of us, coaches, doctors, everyone at the club. Today it all went perfectly, but because he was committed before".

He added: "It's great to score, but the most important thing is to help the team and reach the final".

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