Gareth Bale may have scored one of the great Champions League goals to set Real Madrid on course for their 13th European crown, but fans don’t even think it’s the best this season.
The Welshman’s wondergoal against Liverpool in the final, smashing a bicycle kick into the top corner sky two minutes and two seconds after leaving the bench, came only third in the Champions League goal of the season award, as voted for by visitors to the UEFA website.
The verdict on whether it was a greater overhead kick than Cristiano Ronaldo ‘s remarkable strike in Turin, which earned him a standing ovation from Juventus fans in the first leg of the quarter-final, is also out, with the Ballon d’or winner coming out on top in the new poll.
The overall winner, though, was Bale’s volley against Borussia Dortmund back in the second game of the group stage, receiving 19 per cent of the votes from UEFA.com users.
Bale’s award-winning goal gave Real Madrid the lead against their German hosts at Signal Iduna Park, and the Galaticos the edge for the rest of their group stage tussle.
The reported Manchester United target found the back of the net after out-muscling the defender and striking an aerial ball from Dani Carvajal majestically towards the net.
Zinedine Zidane’s side went on to win the tie 3-1 and the reverse fixture 3-2 to see them comfortably through to the knockout phase. The rest became football folklore.
Yet, it will surely be Bale’s contribution in Ukraine that lives longer in the memory, stunning Madrilenos and breaking hearts on Merseyside at a pivotal stage in the final.
Whether or not the 28-year-old leaves the Bernabeu this summer, that wasn’t to be his last goal, as his late feeler from range squirmed through the palms of Loris Karius.
His former team-mate Gonzalo Higuain made the shortlist for finding the net against his former club, Tottenham Hotspur, from a pre-planned free-kick routine.