Gareth Bale says he was lucky to have appeared in Real Madrid's Champions League final victory and admits that his ankle still has some healing to do.
The Welshman, who came on as a substitute for Karim Benzema when his side were leading by three goals to one, spoke with WalesOnline about the match and his season with Real Madrid, highlighting the significance of being able to lift the trophy in Cardiff, his hometown.
“It was a very special occasion for me personally and it was an incredible feeling to lift that trophy here,” the 27-year old said.
“I only found out I wasn't going to start just before the game, but really I always knew," he continued. "I'd only been training for five days with the team – I was really lucky to be involved, to be honest.
“But I've worked double sessions for three, four weeks to get myself ready for this, to get myself fit and get this chance.
“Because nights like this is why you're a footballer and why I joined Real Madrid,” he added.
“There's always a first for everything," Bale said in reference to being the first Welshman to win three European trophies. "It's three in four years and not many people can say that. It justifies why I came here, it's great to be part of that and I want it to continue."
On the topic of his late-season injury and subsequent surgery, Bale made it clear that his priorities are to recuperate sufficiently before heading back into training.
“The surgery still has a little more healing to do, but I will be able to rest in the summer, do some more rehab and then come next season stronger.
“It's been a tough year with a lot of football and the injuries," he continued. "But the main thing for me is to get my ankle sorted and it give it that rest it needs.
“I came back too early from the surgery and it's been tough a times, but it was still a great finish with another trophy and in my home country.”