Gareth Bale won the Champions League for Real Madrid and then warned them: “Play me or lose me.”
Wales forward Bale came off the bench to score twice in Real’s 3-1 win over Liverpool in the final in Kiev, the first a stunning bicycle kick barely two minutes after coming on.
Given the chance to reflect on his heroics in a post-match interview with BT Sport, Bale’s first thought was: “I was very disappointed not to start the game.
“I felt like I deserved it but the manager makes the decisions and what can you do?
“The best I’ve been doing is to come on and make an impact, and I did.”
Speculation will surround two of Real’s attacking stars in the coming days, with Cristiano Ronaldo also hinting at an exit after the game.
The Portugal star, who has now won four Champions Leagues and two LaLiga titles in nine years at the Bernabeu, told bein Sport: “In the coming days there will be an answer about my future for the fans, who have always been by my side.
“It has been very nice playing for Real Madrid.”
While Ronaldo, 33, is one of the first names on coach Zinedine Zidane’s team-sheet, Bale has rarely been in the first-choice XI even after recovering from an early-season injury.
“Obviously I need to be playing week in, week out and that hasn’t happened this season,” the 28-year-old said.
“I had a five/six-week injury at the start of the season and I’ve been fit ever since. I’ll have to sit down in the summer and discuss it with my agent and take it from there.”
Bale has frequently been linked with a return to the Premier League, with Manchester United, Chelsea and his former club Tottenham all mentioned as possible destinations.
When asked if his opening goal – the stunning overhead kick – was his best ever, Bale said: “It has to be – Champions League final, no bigger stage and I’m happy to get the win.
“We know what we’ve achieved and we know how good we’ve been. Obviously we were a bit disappointed in the league but we’ve won the Champions League and it’s been a good season.”
Bale’s second swerved through the hands of Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius, who was also to blame for Karim Benzema’s opener before Sadio Mane briefly drew the Reds level.
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