Champions League: Gareth Bale excited by 2017 Cardiff final

Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale won the Champions League in his first season with Real Madrid

Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale has welcomed Uefa's decision to stage the 2017 Champions League final to Cardiff.

The Millennium Stadium will host the final of European football's top competition on Saturday, 3 June, 2017.

Cardiff-born Bale, 25, scored in Real Madrid's Champions League win over Atletico Madrid in 2014.

"I know how passionate the Welsh football fans are so it's great the Uefa Champions League final is coming to my home city of Cardiff," Bale said.external-link

The Football Association of Wales (FAW) led the bid to host one of Uefa's major finals with support from the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU), the owners of the Millennium Stadium.

The 74,500-capacity Millennium Stadium previously hosted the FA Cup final, League Cup final, Community Shield and Football League play-offs from 2001 to 2006.

Olympic football games were played there in 2012 but it missed out on hosting fixtures for the 2020 European Championship.

Bale was in the Real Madrid which won the Uefa Super Cup in August 2014 with a 2-0 victory over Sevilla at Cardiff City Stadium.

Cardiff's Millennium Stadium
Cardiff's Millennium Stadium was built ahead of the 1999 Rugby World Cup

"These are exciting times for Welsh football," said Bale, who scored in Wales' 1-0 win over Belgium in a Euro 2016 qualifier on 12 June.

"It feels like the whole country is behind us as we attempt to reach next year's Uefa Euro 2016 finals in France.

"I loved playing in the Uefa Super Cup last year and it would be fantastic to be involved in front of a packed crowd at such an iconic stadium in 2017."

Bale's international team-mate Aaron Ramsey is also a regular in the Champions League with Arsenal.

The former Cardiff City midfielder, 24, said on the FAW's website that Uefa's announcement was "wonderful news."

"The Millennium Stadium is a fantastic stadium. It will be a brilliant occasion. I would love to be part of it," Ramsey said.

He also tweeted: external-link"Great choice, great stadium, hopefully will be there."

Former Wales player and manager Terry Yorath played in Leeds United's 2-0 European Cup final defeat by Bayern Munich in 1975.

Yorath is "chuffed" at his home city hosting the 2017 final.

"It's about time the stadium was recognised. It's been one of the best stadiums in the world," said the ex-Swansea boss.

"I think the only one I've been to that's better is Arsenal's ground."