Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale has not given up hope of making the last four of the UEFA Champions League despite heading into tomorrow's quarter-final second leg trailing Real Madrid 4-0.
Spurs' aspirations of extending their debut run in Europe's premier club competition were severely dented by last Tuesday's heavy defeat at the Bernabeu, but Bale has called for optimism ahead of the White Hart Lane encounter.
The 21-year-old said in Marca: "Anything is possible in football. This sport's history is full of incredible, crazy games. Madrid lost 4-0 at Anfield not so long ago. Why can't we do it ourselves?
"We are going to try and we're not going to give up. It's an almost impossible challenge, but we're going to play and see what happens. Hopefully we can produce the miracle. We need to be optimistic. We're going to go out to win from the start."
Two goals from Emmanuel Adebayor, as well as strikes from Angel di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo put Real in control of the tie, with Spurs' cause not helped in the Spanish capital by the 15th-minute dismissal of Peter Crouch.
"When you play with one player less it makes it almost impossible, especially in the Champions League and against a team like Real Madrid," Bale said.
"I think this was the big difference in the first leg. We hope that the reverse happens tomorrow and they lose a man and we can take advantage. That would be a good opportunity."
Welshman is still learning
Bale has played a starring role for Spurs in Europe this year, most notably his two stunning displays against Inter Milan in the group stage.
He signed a new four-and-a-half-year contract with Spurs last month, but admitted before last week's first leg he could be tempted to move to one of Europe's biggest clubs in the future.
Asked if he could see himself playing at the Bernabeu again one day wearing Real Madrid colours, he replied: "I don't know if I will play in Madrid. Now I'm happy at Tottenham. It's a young team, me as well, and I'm happy here."
And, despite the huge strides he has taken over the past year, Bale insists there is plenty still to come. "I've progressed a lot, especially in this last year playing in midfield, but I can still give more," he said. "I still can't be compared to the best players in the world."