Gareth Bale, the world's most expensive player, is hoping to kickstart his career with Real Madrid after returning to action in their 2-0 win over Malaga .
The Welshman was introduced as a substitute with just 13 minutes remaining, but still had time to make an impact as he was fouled by Weligton inside the area in stoppage time to allow Cristiano Ronaldo to stroke home Los Merengues' second goal from the penalty spot.
Bale's first six weeks in the Spanish capital have been marred by slight muscular injuries that have restricted him to just four appearances so far. However, he rejected claims in the Spanish media earlier this week that he was suffering from a slipped disc.
"It was just a little thigh strain that was blown massively out of proportion," Bale told Real Madrid TV. "It is just a minor injury and I'm back now.
"I've not had a lot of game time, pre-season, training or running, so you pick up little niggles. I have to take one step at a time. I've not had much training or games. It's all about building me up now."
Victory over Malaga, combined with Barcelona's draw at Osasuna, was the perfect start to a crucial week for Real. The Madrid giants host Juventus in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday, before travelling to face Barcelona next weekend knowing that a win will move them level on points with the Catalans.
And Bale is hoping to finally make a significant impact at his new club.
"I need to introduce myself now and prepare myself right for the rest of the season," he said. "It was massively important to get a win today. We played well throughout whole game and we're now looking forward to next two games."