Jeff Stelling: Champions League final shows Spurs what they're missing

Bale In Net

Renowned Sky Sports commentator tips Real Madrid superstar and former Tottenham Hotspur forward Gareth Bale to shine against Atletico Madrid.

Saturday presents football fans with the club-level showpiece when it comes to elite teams as the Champions League final pits the two top outfits from Europe against each other. Remarkably, this season, both finalists hail from the same city as Real Madrid take on their local rivals Atletico Madrid.

Despite there being no Premier League representative on Saturday, May 24 in Torino, there will still be many familiar faces for English audiences on the field, as the stage is set for former Real Madrid ace Cristiano Ronaldo - who has netted an extraordinary and record-breaking 16 goals and three assists from ten outings thus far - to shine.

However, for popular broadcaster Jeff Stelling, it is not Ronaldo who is the only player due a big game - and it may well make for unpleasant reading for Tottenham Hotspur fans, who have been without a true match-changing player this season, finishing a tame sixth in the Premier League after pre-season predictions of finally cracking the top four.

"Spurs fans should look away when we go on air from Lisbon," said Stelling.

"Not only will they see Bale, but they'll also see [Luka] Modric, and no doubt be hugely regretting the departure of both of them - and regretting just as much how they squandered the money they earned.

"Bale has done brilliantly since his move to Madrid. There were plenty of doubters; I got pilloried when I said Gareth Bale would be just as good as Cristiano Ronaldo. People will still argue to the toss over it at the moment, and I accept that, but I believe everyone would agree he's getting closer."

As well as affecting the scoreline 19 times in the Champions League tournament in the season to date, Ronaldo also has an 85% passing accuracy, completes a dribble 2.5 times per game, has created 19 goal-scoring opportunities and attempts a shot on goal 6.7 times per appearance.

Ronaldo is, of course, a footballing freak. But Bale is not too far behind. From just seven starts in the Champions League, he has affected the scoreline nine times (five goals, four assists), has an 81% passing accuracy, has completed 22 dribbles, created ten goal-scoring opportunities and has attempted 28 shots on goal.

"For a relatively quiet, unassuming young man he's gone out to mix it with the Galácticos and he's done incredibly in his first season. It must have been quite overwhelming playing in a foreign country - and not many Brits have been particularly successful overseas - he's got it right from the opening press conference where he did the few words in Spanish and paid tribute to Ronaldo.

"I'd be surprised if he doesn't have a great game this weekend and I'm a massive, massive fan," concluded Stelling.

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