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The club official is confident the winger is capable of becoming ever better after his hat trick against Valladolid, but believes Cristiano Ronaldo remains los Blancos' finest.

Real Madrid director Emilio Butragueno expects Gareth Bale to continue to get better after the Welshman struck his first Liga hat trick in Saturday's 4-0 win against Valladolid.

The 24-year-old has hit full stride for los Blancos after overcoming initial fitness problems following his 100 million-euro summer move, chalking up eight goals and six assists in his last seven appearances.

After three goals and a stunning assist for Karim Benzema on Saturday, the former Tottenham man's form has drawn extensive plaudits from Butragueno, who believes his quality is beginning to shine through as he learns to adapt to his Madrid teammates.

"Bale's three goals were very important for his morale and confidence, while he demonstrated great technique to assist Benzema for our second goal," the Spaniard told reporters. "He has to still get to know his peers and their movements around him, but I have high hopes for him, for he will surely improve more.

"[Alvaro] Morata and Jese [Rodriguez] have been playing very well, while Isco is increasingly doing so playing closer to the area where he feels more comfortable. It is great to know we have other fantastic players but I hope Cristiano [Ronaldo] can come back as soon as possible because he's the best."

Madrid's win saw it close the gap to Barcelona at the top of the league prior to the Blaugrana's clash with Athletic Bilbao on Sunday evening.

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