Gareth Bale once again proved his worth to Real Madrid by delivering the Champions League trophy with a sensational two goals after coming off the bench in the 3-1 win over Liverpool in Saturday’s final but then declared he would have to consider his future at the club.
Gareth Bale was left out of the starting line-up for the final for the second year in a row as coach Zinedine Zidane played Isco instead, fielding the same side that beat Juventus 4-1 in last year’s final in Bale’s home city of Cardiff.
The Real Madrid record signing grabbed his opportunity in emphatic fashion after replacing Spain midfielder Isco just after the hour mark, conjuring up an inspired overhead kick to put Madrid back in front in the 64th minute, after Sadio Mane had canceled out Karim Benzema’s opportune opening goal.
Bale then sealed Real’s record-extending 13th European Cup with a long-range strike which flew through the hands of Liverpool’s hapless goalkeeper Loris Karius, ensuring he pocketed a remarkable fourth Champions League winners’ medal since moving to the Spanish capital in 2013.
“It has to be the best goal in a Champions League final, there is no bigger stage,” Bale said of his jaw-dropping strike which put Madrid on their way to a third consecutive Champions League triumph.
“I am just happy to get the win. It is a team game but when you are a substitute, it is a game of more than 11 players. I made an impact.”
“I need to be playing week in, week out, and that has not happened this season,” he told BT Sport. “I had an injury five, six weeks in but fit ever since. I have to sit down with my agent in the summer and discuss it.”
Gareth Bale repeated his claim in his postgame news conference and said he would consider leaving the club this summer if he was not fully in Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane’s plans.
“I feel that I need to be playing every week,” he said. “It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do, something that I feel like I should be doing. If it’s not the case here, then it’s something I have to really consider and sit down and do.
“I’ll do that in the summer. I have plenty of time now to relax, to reflect on things and see where things go.”