Bale Demands Playing Time After Champions League Heroics

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Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale demanded regular starts and hinted at a Santiago Bernabeu exit after he came off the bench to fire Zinedine Zidane's men to Champions League glory against Liverpool.

Bale scored one of the great European final goals with a stunning 64th-minute overhead kick in Kiev before sealing a 3-1 victory seven minutes from time when Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius fumbled his long-range drive into the net.

Zidane preferred Karim Benzema in his first XI and the Frenchman was the beneficiary of an earlier Karius howler, opening the scoring in the 51st minute before Sadio Mane found a quickfire response. 

Bale then took centre stage and, responding to a question over whether he might one day return to the Premier League, the ex-Tottenham favourite suggested frustration over his current predicament in Madrid.


"I need to be playing week in, week out and that hasn't happened this season for some reason or another," the Wales forward, who was linked with Bayern Munich earlier this year, told BT Sport.

"I was injured for five or six weeks at the start of the season but I've been fit ever since.

"I have to sit down with my agent and take it from there."

Bale confirmed his moment of rare brilliant was motivated in part by irritation over being left on the bench despite five goals in the final four LaLiga games of the season.

"Obviously I was very disappointed not to start the game," said the 28-year-old. "I felt like I deserved to but the manager makes those decisions.

"The best I could do was to come on and make an impact and that's what I did.

"It has to be [the best goal of my career]. There is no bigger stage than the Champions League final and I'm just happy to get the win."