Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale Claims Mohamed Salah’s Win ‘Diminishes’ Puskas Award

Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale has claimed that his overhead kick in the Champions League final should have secured him the Puskas Award over Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.

This year’s award, handed to the scorer of the year’s best goal in world football, was presented to Salah for his winding run and finish in last season’s Merseyside derby.

Other notable nominees included Cristiano Ronaldo’s overhead kick against Juventus and Bale’s comparable effort in the Champions League final.

Bale, though chivalrous in his protestations, said he was surprised that Mo Salah’s derby goal won him the prize, stating it has “diminished” the award.

“Yeah, I was surprised by that, to be honest,” ​Madrid forward Bale told FourFourTwo, on the award going the way of ​Salah.

“What can you say? It makes the award look a little diminished, although it was obviously a great goal by Salah.”

Bale’s goal of the season submission was scored on the grandest stage of club football which arguably added to the brilliance of his strike.

It took the Welshman just three minutes after entering the fray in Kiev to stamp his mark on the Champions League final, and ​Bale admits it was the best goal of his career.

Real Madrid v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Final

“I think you’d have to say that [it was my best goal],” he said. “It was instinctive. I got my body positioned correctly, got my footwork right, and caught it perfectly. When you catch the ball perfectly, you know it’s on target.

“You just have to hope the keeper doesn’t make an unbelievable save. So as soon as I hit it, I knew it had a chance of going in. If you watch it, you see my head turn straight away. I knew where the ball was going.”

Real Madrid v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Final

Bale’s goal wasn’t even voted in the top three, ranking behind Ronaldo’s similar strike against ​Juventus in the same competition. The Serie A striker also claimed his goal was worthy of the title saying in a Q&A session on Instagram reported by ​Goal: “My goal was the most beautiful.”