The most expensive footballer in history, Gareth Bale, could be playing in his hometown in August.
Gareth Bale says that he is living his “dream” playing for Real Madrid, as they seek 'La Decima' - a 10th European Cup - in Lisbon on Saturday evening.
In football terms this is far removed from his hometown club of Cardiff City - but that's exactly where he would be playing on August 12.
If Madrid win the Champions League final against their city-rivals Atletico Madrid, then Bale would be able to proudly stride out at the Cardiff City Stadium as a European champion. It’s because the Welsh club will host the 2014 UEFA Super Cup in their expanded 33,000-seater stadium.
Bale’s development in the last three years has been incredible by any standards. Have you ever seen such a powerful and destructive runner with the ball at his feet?
Rewind to the 24-year-old’s winner in the recent Copa Del Rey final. Marc Bartra plays for Barcelona and has been capped at every level for Spain. Yet he was the unfortunate man made to resemble a hungover Sunday League player running in quicksand, as Bale demolished him over half the length of the pitch.
Already dubbed 'The Cannon' in Spain, Bale, like his Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, is the near-perfect footballing figure.
Both have been declared fit for the final. Atletico striker Diego Costa is desperately, and bizarrely, undergoing horse placenta treatment on his grade one hamstring tear. He looks unlikely to feature in Lisbon, just a week after being forced off with the injury during his side’s 1-1 draw with Barcelona at Camp Nou.
Consequently, I see Madrid lifting the European Cup on Saturday, and then all roads will lead to Cardiff for Bale.