Gareth Bale revealed he felt “quite angry” to have been left on the Real Madrid bench for last season’s Champions League final against Liverpool, before coming on to score a brilliant overhead kick.
Wales forward Bale found himself among the substitutes in Kiev, eventually being called upon by Zinedine Zidane just after the hour and then helped turn the match around with a second-half double.
Within three minutes of his introduction, Bale had converted an acrobatic bicycle kick from Marcelo’s floated cross to put Real Madrid ahead and later added a long-range second past Loris Karius to help seal a 3-1 victory.
Looking back on that night in the Ukraine, Bale reflected on the emotions he felt when learning he had not made the starting XI despite his good scoring form in the run-up to the showpiece final.
“Angry. Quite angry, to be honest,” Bale told the Daily Mail.
“Obviously, I felt I deserved to start the game. I’d been scoring goals. So yeah, I suppose it was hard to put the anger aside.”
The 29-year-old knew he had produced something special after executing such a technically-perfect strike in a couple of instinctive seconds.
“You could opt to take the ball down and do something then, but you know you are in a situation where if you’re going to get closed down you have to try something,” Bale 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. It’s when you have to make those reaction decisions that you normally tend to get the best results.”
The Wales forward added: “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 has scored three goals for Los Blancos already this season, and was also on target for Wales during the international break.
Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri was furious at Douglas Costa for “rising to provocation” and being sent off for spitting in the face of a rival, after Cristiano Ronaldo had scored his first goals for Juventus in a 2-1 win over Sassuolo on Sunday.
Both Ronaldo’s goals came in the second half, but the champions’ fourth win in as many games this season was overshadowed by Brazilian Costa’s late red card for spitting at Sassuolo’s Federico Di Francesco — the 24-year-old son of Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco.
Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri knows it is only a matter of time before Cristiano Ronaldo breaks his Serie A duck and has high hopes it will be in their top-of-the-table clash against Sassuolo.
The Portugal international has drawn a blank in his three matches since his summer move from Real Madrid but the 33-year-old’s proven goalscoring record means Allegri has no doubts the breakthrough will come.
“Cristiano has been training well. I think tomorrow could be his day,” he told a press conference.
“I believe that Cristiano deserves to win the FIFA World Player award, even if Luka Modric has had a phenomenal year as well.”
With European football beginning next week Allegri has told his players it is time for them to step up a level, despite opening their season with three successive wins to sit top of Serie A.
“This is where the season starts in earnest,” he added.
“The first objectives are to qualify from our Champions League group and lead the way in the league in order to be fighting on all fronts come March.”