MADRID (Reuters) - Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale on Saturday overtook David Beckham as the British player with the most appearances in La Liga, marking the occasion by scoring the opening goal in his side’s 3-1 win over Getafe at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The Wales forward struck his 62nd league goal for Real in his 117th appearance in Spain’s top flight, pouncing on a loose ball in the area to hammer home with his left foot in the 24th minute. It was his eighth league goal this campaign.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored Real’s other goals either side of halftime as the double Champions League holders warmed up for their last-16 second leg away to Paris St Germain next Tuesday.
Last year Bale overtook former Barcelona forward Gary Lineker as the British forward with the most goals in La Liga and he has now surpassed the number of games former England captain Beckham played for Real between 2003 and 2007.
Bale joined Real for a then world-record 85.5 million pounds ($118.02 million) in September 2013 and has won three Champions Leagues, one Liga title and one King’s Cup although his spell in Spain has been peppered with injury problems.
($1 = 0.7244 pounds)
Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Clare Fallon