A TRIUMPH WRITTEN IN THE STARS

FORGET about the goalkeeping blunders that helped Real Madrid power to a third straight Champions League title on Saturday.

Forget about the key refereeing decisions that seemingly kept going the way of the Spanish giants, including a controversial last-minute penalty against Juve.

Maybe, after all, Real Madrid’s triumph was written in the stars.

After all, the two stunning overhead kick goals which were scored by Cristiano Ronaldo, in the quarter-finals, and Gareth Bale on Saturday, came in the same minute.

Ronaldo scored his goal in the 64th minute of the first leg in Turin against Juve and Bale also scored in the 64th minute of the final against Liverpool.

Manchester United will lead the chase for Bale who is ready to quit Madrid despite his Champions League soccer final heroics.

United will face competition from Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Paris St Germain for a player Jose Mourinho has always said he would be at “the front of the queue” for if he became available.

That looks likely now with Real’s hierarchy wanting to use the £80m from Bale’s sale to finance a deal to bring former Barcelona ace Neymar back to the Spanish La Liga from Paris Saint-Germain.

Bale will hold talks with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez as early as next week as he is eager to make a decision on his future at the club.

Cristiano Ronaldo also dropped a big hint he is looking to quit the Bernabeu after the 3-1 win over Liverpool as Real won the European Cup/Champions League for the 13th time.

But Bale, who is four years younger and who reminded the world of his talent with a stunning overhead goal in Kiev two minutes after coming on as a substitute on Saturday night, is the man United want to bolster their goals output and restore some X-factor to Old Trafford.

Bale’s agent, Jonathan Barnett, is planning to fly to Madrid for talks with Real president Florentine Perez to sort out his client’s future after he made it clear he is fed up being a bit-part player in Zinedine Zidane’s all-star squad — and was dismayed by being named on the bench for Saturday’s final.

“I feel I should be playing week-in and week-out and I haven’t been,” said Bale. “I haven’t been playing as much as I would like and I’m going to have to sit down in the summer and seriously think about what move I’m going to make next.

“I feel like there’s still a lot more to give for me and that’s why I need to be playing week-in and week-out and that’s what I need to be doing.”

Bale made his point with his sensational overhead kick which he described as his “best-ever goal”.

He said: “I’ve tried it many times before and come close. I’ve hit the post. It was just instinctive, I’ve seen the ball there, I’ve had a great connection and seen it fly in.

“But the most important thing was to help the team get the trophy again. It’s an amazing achievement to win four Champions Leagues.”

Asked whether Zidane had spoken to him after the game, significantly Bale shook his head and said: “No”.

After Bale had raised question marks over his future, Ronaldo stunned Real by hinting he could be on his way too after nine years at the Bernabeu —although the 33-year-old later seemed to tone down his comments.

He said: “Maybe it wasn’t the perfect timing to talk about personal things.

Maybe I’ve made a mistake or not. But when you are honest, sometimes you say things that you don’t mean to, but it’s something that’s been a long time coming.

“It’s not the right moment for me or my team-mates to talk about the future but I’ll talk in a week when I am with the national team because I don’t want to take this top moment away from Real Madrid.”

Bale, whose contract expires in 2022, is likely to be listened to by Perez, with whom he enjoys a good relationship.— Sports Reporter/The Express.

Source :

The Herald

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