Ryan Giggs is backing Gareth Bale to break Liverpool’s hearts on Saturday.
And the Manchester United legend admits it is tough seeing his former side’s bitter rivals Liverpool competing for major honours.
Bale’s Real Madrid meet Jurgen Klopp’s Reds on Saturday with the Champions League trophy on the line, but Wales boss Giggs believes his countryman can be the match-winner.
Asked if he’d prefer the Spanish giants to come out on top this weekend, Old Traford legend Giggs said: “I shouldn’t say this, but I hope so.
“As a United fan, and playing for United for so long, Liverpool were our main rivals, and they were our main rivals for a reason — they’ve got great history and they’re a brilliant club.
“It’s hard watching them in finals, but if you forget about the Liverpool aspect for a second, it would be magnificent for Gareth to win the Champions League four times. It would be unbelievable.”
Bale has spent long periods on the bench this season with boss Zinedine Zidane often preferring the talented Marco Asensio to the former Tottenham man.
It’s fuelled talk of a return to the Premier League, but Giggs believes the 28-year-old is still a man Real Madrid can rely on come the big occasion.
The Spanish giants are on the lookout for a third straight Champions League success and fourth in the five years since signing Bale, and Giggs added: “Every time Gareth plays, he makes an impact.
“It just shows the professional he is that he’s not sulking. He’s a top player, one of the best in the world.
“Every time he comes on to that pitch he makes a difference. He will be thinking if he starts in the Champions League final, ‘Great!’ If he doesn’t then, ‘I’m ready to score that winner.’"
Giggs remains convinced Bale is best served staying at the Bernabeu despite interest from Tottenham – who have first refusal – Chelsea and Man United.
A fourth Champions League success would only serve to further enhance Bale’s already well-established status as one of the best exports British football has seen.
“Gareth always had potential, but he’s gone on to pass that by playing at a top club for a long, long time and at a team where brilliant players have notoriously not lasted very long,” Giggs said.
“He’s been a huge success for club and country and Gareth has got to be one of the best Brits to go and play abroad because of what he’s achieved.
“Every time he comes on he seems to score and he’s been doing that recently. Again that’s a credit to his professionalism, his hunger, and his desire to get in the team for the final.
“Gareth is at a fantastic club. As a player you want to play regularly, but I know Gareth has loved playing at Madrid and you can’t get many better clubs.
“As a player all you want is to win things. Of course it’s Gareth’s decision what he does. He wants to play, but he’s happy.”
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