Gareth Bale’s situation at Real Madrid is “complicated” according to manager Zinedine Zidane.
The inspiration and saviour for Wales on so many occasions, Bale proved match-winner for his club with a gravity-defying, momentous, awe-inspiring overhead kick that swing the Champions League final away from Liverpool and in the Spanish club’s favour on Saturday night.
Immediately after scoring a second stunning goal, man-of-the-match Bale suggested the 3-1 victory in Kiev could be his final game for Madrid where he has recently struggled to be a starting presence under Zidane.
After five years in Spain, there would be a queue of leading clubs around Europe keen to sign the Cardiff-born player – including Manchester United and Chelsea – and Zidane did little to quash speculation of a move by insisting the personal happiness of one player has to be secondary to the needs of the team.
“It’s complicated but everyone looks at themselves. I get it,” Zidane said. “This is a squad and it’s not going to change.
“I try to do what’s best for the team and every once in a while it’s true that he deserves to play more.
“I understand who wants more minutes, Bale has made the difference. It’s normal to want more regularity, I understand.”
Bale will be 29 in July and said afterwards that he has not played as much as he would have liked this season and he will discuss his future with his agent Jonathan Barnett in the close-season.
“I feel that I need to be playing every week. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do and it hasn’t happened here this season for one reason or another,” Bale said.
“If it’s not the case here then it’s something I’ll sit down and consider. I’ll have plenty of time to relax now and think about things, and see where things go.
“I really don’t know (where I will be). I’m going to have to sit down and discuss it with my agent. Maybe I’ll be staying here, maybe not. We’ll sit down in the summer and hopefully resolve this issue.”
Bale joined Real Madrid for a then world-record £86million from Tottenham in 2013 and, according to contracts leaked in 2016, the deal contains a first-option clause for Spurs to buy him back if another Premier League club makes an offer.
Manchester United have previously been interested in the 28-year-old, and he admitted he was “very disappointed” to be left on the bench for the final by Zinedine ZIdane.
“In my head, I felt like should have started, I’ve been playing well enough to start,” he said.
11 players, it’s about squad, and you have to come and make an impact, and that’s what I did.
His first goal drew comparisons with both Cristiano Ronaldo’s overhead kick in the quarter-finals of the tournament against Juventus, as well the volley scored by Zidane in the 2002 final against Bayer Leverkusen
Bale added: “I have to say it is (the best goal I’ve ever scored). On the biggest stage in football, to score like that is a dream come true. I’ve never scored bicycle-kick before, I’ve had many attempts, so it was nice to see one go in on such an important occasion.”
Victory in Kiev means Bale has collected four Champions League titles in five years with Madrid, as the club secured a record 13th European crown.
“I’m not going to say which one is better,” Zidane said when asked to compare his goal to Bale’s. “Goals for the history of the club.
“The last one is always the most important. I’ll say Gareth’s.”
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