The score was 1-1 in Kiev, Liverpool having cancelled out a Karius’ mistake with a Sadio Mane goal. On came Gareth Bale in the 61st minute. Three minutes later, Bale produced a spectacular overhead kick to put his team 2-1 up. Even the likes of Zidane and Ronaldo, who are used to producing magic on the pitch, were amazed by the brilliance of Bale’s goal. That goal brought a third consecutive Champions League trophy back to Madrid; the club’s twelfth!
At the FIFA Best award this year, Mohamed Salah won the Puskas award. I think that was a big mistake. Whether it’s the quality of the goal or the importance, Bale’s strike wins hands down. While Salah slalom in the Everton defence was impressive, it was only in a merseyside derby and this type of goal is quite common nowadays. Gareth Bale delivered the match winning goal in a Champions League final. To score this type of goal, you need to be a fantastic athlete, a quick thinker, have amazing technique and have a lot of courage and self-confidence. Bale ticks all those boxes.
Bale’s ex-teammate Cristiano Ronaldo won the UEFA Goal of the Season for another overhead kick in the Champions League against his current side Juventus. I would argue that Bale’s goal required similar athleticism and technique but was more important because it was the winner in a UCL final. Ronaldo’s came in a quarter final. Ronaldo probably won the award over Bale due to his popularity and star status. It could also have been a way to sooth his wounds after losing the UEFA Player of the Season award to Luka Modric.
See also: The Overhead Kick’s Ballon D’Or Picks
The Welshman deserves credit for his prowess and it is indisputable his goal against Liverpool is the best for last season.
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