Magic from the Welsh wizard
By Roger Childs
It’s now history that Real Madrid won the UEFA Cup final last weekend in Kiev.
However, football fans are still talking about the role Gareth Bale played in turning the game.
They sometimes refer to sports players coming off the bench as “impact players”; the Welshman has given the term new meaning.
Coming alive after half time
It was a fantastic second half with skills of the highest quality on show.
Sadly for Liverpool, their star player, Mohamed Salah, had to go off in the first half with a dislocated shoulder, and this robbed the English club of some of its strike power.
It was 0-0 at half time, but by the 55th minute it was a goal apiece.
Enter the Welsh wizard, Gareth Bale. What an amazing substitution!
In the 63rd minute a highly skillful bicycle kick put Real Madrid ahead.
As any professional footballer will tell you, this is very difficult to execute and you can look a complete fool if you put the ball into row 50 of the stand behind the net.
Former Tottenham winger and current Welsh international, Bale, pulled it off brilliantly.
Bend it like Bale
Then 20 minutes later Bale scored again with a 40 yard swirling pile-driver which the Liverpool keeper couldn’t handle. But for a superb tackle a few minutes on, he might have had a hat-trick.
Teams are more than one player, however there has rarely been a better injection of talent into a match than Real’s coach, Frenchman Zinedine Zidane’s inspired substitution.
The Spanish club has the biggest cheque book in Europe and not surprisingly this is their 16th cup win.