The Welsh winger scored twice in last season’s showpiece and was awarded the Man of the Match.
Gareth Bale is enjoying life at Real Madrid in the present, scoring week-in-week-out, but the scenario was a bit more complicated towards the end of last season. Bale has now said that anger at being left out of Real Madrid’s starting XI for the Champions League final against Liverpool, helped fuel the stunning overhead-kick that set them on the path to a 3-1 victory.
The Welsh captain came on the field in the 61st minute, with the score at 1-1, beating Liverpool keeper Loris Karius with his sensational strike three minutes later.
As reported by ESPN, Bale briefly expressed his feelings before the goal, “Angry — quite angry, to be honest. Obviously, I felt I deserved to start the game. I’d been scoring goals. So yes, I suppose it was hard to put the anger aside.”
Bale said he had decided to attempt the overhead after realising that Liverpool defenders would soon crowd him out.
“You know you are in a situation where, if you’re going to get closed down, you have to try something,” he said. “You certainly don’t really think about looking stupid.
“If you don’t try things, things never happen. If you have time to think about it, it doesn’t come off. I knew exactly where the ball went and you can see in the video, my head turns to look exactly where the ball is going. As soon as I hit it, I knew it was good.”
Bale sympathises with Karius for his mistake that gave Madrid their first goal and then the speculative long-range effort as well.
“I always try to put a bit of wobble on the ball,” he said. “You try to make it more difficult because if it doesn’t go in the corner I always give them a problem if it’s right down their throat.
Mistakes happen. It’s just unfortunate it’s in a final. Yes, I suppose it’s not quite as bad as it looked, but I suppose he should save it.”
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The situation at the club has changed since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane. He is now a regular part of Julen Lopetegui’s Madrid team.
“Obviously it’s going to be a little different from having such a big player there,” he said. “It’s maybe a bit more relaxed, yes. I suppose there is more of a team, more working as one unit rather than one player.”
However, he is not ruling out the possibility of a Premier League return saying, “You always want to come back and play in your home league and a part of you will always miss home. But, I’m enjoying playing for the biggest club in the world and winning trophies.”
Bale was bought by Real Madrid for a then world-record transfer fee of £86m, from Tottenham Hotspur. He has won the UEFA Champions League four times since then, always being a pivot of their success.