Bale has mindset to 'make a difference' in Champions League final - Giggs

Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale has scored 19 goals in 38 appearances for Real Madrid this season

Ryan Giggs has warned Liverpool that Gareth Bale is ready to make a difference in Saturday's Champions League final in Kiev.

Bale has scored five goals in four La Liga games for Real Madrid, but is not certain to start for the reigning European champions.

But Wales manager Giggs insists the 28-year-old has the right mindset to make a decisive contribution from the bench.

"Every time Gareth plays he makes an impact," Giggs said.

"It just shows the professional he is, that he's not sulking (when he's a substitute) as he always seems to come on and score."

"He's one of the best players in the world and every time he comes on to that pitch he makes a difference.

"He will be thinking if he starts in the Champions League, great. But if he doesn't, then he's ready to score that winner anyway."

A 13th European title for Real Madrid on Saturday would see Bale equal the record of Champions League wins, or its European Cup predecessor, by a British player.

Former Liverpool defender Phil Neal currently holds the record outright with four victories, and Bale would match that tally after five seasons in Madrid.

And despite having his critics in Spain, Bale has still managed to score 19 goals this season in an injury-hit campaign.

Giggs and Bale
Giggs and Bale in Wales action against San Marino in 2007

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"Gareth always had potential, but he's gone on to pass that potential," Giggs said.

"He's been playing at a top club for a long time where brilliant players have notoriously not lasted very long.

"He has been a huge success for club and country and one of the best British players to have gone abroad because of what he's achieved."

With Wales players Danny Ward and Ben Woodburn part of the Liverpool squad heading to the Ukraine, Giggs insists he "will try and remain neutral" over the outcome.

But as Manchester United's record appearances holder and a former assistant manager, Giggs admits it is hard to see Liverpool just 90 minutes away from being crowned European champions.

"As a United fan, and playing for United for so long, it is difficult," he said.

"They are our main rivals for a reason - they've got great history, they're a brilliant club and it's hard for a United fan to take.

"When I was playing you didn't want rivals to go and win European Cups.

"But in those situations you just have to look after yourselves and try and win things."

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