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Champions League

Gareth Bale: The latest addition to Real folklore

Gareth Bale marked the completion of his first season with Real Madrid as he lived up to his reputation of a dangerous goal scorer by scoring the second goal in his team’s 4-1 victory over Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final on Saturday.

The Welsh international, signed by the Los Blancos for a record shattering transfer fee of 100 million Euros ($136.31 million) from the English side Tottenham Hotspur last August scored the goal that put his side in front with 10 minutes left in the extra time as his team claimed the much awaited ‘La Decima’.

Gareth Bale became the first ever Welshman to score in a Champions League final. This was his second major goal for the Madrid side in finals after his magnificent solo effort against arch rivals Barcelona in the Copa Del Rey final to clinch his side’s first trophy of the season. After the initial struggle for form, Bale has lived up to the expectation of all his fans and has begun to justify the record transfer fee Real Madrid had to pay for his transfer.

Bale’s first goal for Madrid came in the 7-3 victory over Sevilla where he notched a brace, and the former Tottenham man found his form soon enough to become a major factor in his team’s success.

Gareth Bale was lost for words when asked about his feelings at the aftermath of his team’s famous Champions League victory, and the joy of accomplishment was clear from the player’s answer. “For me the price tag means nothing,” Bale, with a Real scarf wrapped around his head, told Sky Sports. “If I came for a penny I wanted to play well and play in big competitions and win trophies like we have this season and obviously the move has paid off.”

The goal in the final was Bale’s 23rd of the season in all competitions, which included an impressive six goals scored alone in the Champions League matches. This adds weight to the argument that he was a major factor in all the matches for Real Madrid.

With only ten minutes left in the clock and the final heading to the penalties, an Angel Di Maria shot was saved by the Atletico Madrid goal keeper Thibaut Courtois, but the ball fell invitingly to Bale who brilliantly headed it towards goal to spark the celebrations among the club supporters.

“We have shown all season for us when we play our own football we win games. It was ‘keep attacking’, do what we do best, and we all believed in that,” Bale said. “I started to have a little feeling (it wasn’t going to be my night) but I’ve learned to keep going, forget about chances missed and keep going and eventually one will come. Thankfully I got a decisive goal. I was just thinking do not miss it. The celebrations from the fans mean everything for me. It was an unbelievable feeling lifting the trophy, one you can’t describe and it will be a memory forever.”

Real coach Carlo Ancelotti believes that Bale can still improve and will turn out to be a formidable force in the near future. “At the right moment, Gareth Bale was ready to score and that’s how it’s been all season,” the Italian said. “He’ll be even better next year.”

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