Ahead of this season's coveted Champions League final, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah were being looked upon as the star players who could potentially turn the tide in favour of their respective teams in Kiev. When Real Madrid and Liverpool did lock horns, Salah's outing was cut short by an unfortunate injury, making many believe that it was probably Ronaldo's night. But, it wasn't.
Salah's exit from the pitch did open the chances for Real Madrid, but Ronaldo was clearly not up to the mark. He missed a crucial chance to score for his side in 74th minute after Andy Robertson made a great tackle to deny the Portuguese. He was well marked and often struggled to find spaces in the Liverpool defence.
But, while Ronaldo was struggling to live up to his billing, his teammate Gareth Bale exceeded expectations with a sublime performance. Coming on for Isco in the 61st minute, Bale restored Madrid's lead with a gravity-defying 'bicycle kick' that went straight into the top-left corner of the goal.
His introduction injected pace into the game, while Bale's passing made Madrid's movements more swift. After putting his side in front, the Welshman scored his second goal and sealed the game 3-1 in favour of Los Blancos via an audacious 35-yards strike. For a man who cut a frustrating figure after being used mainly as a substitute this season, Bale's performance didn't just propel Madrid to their 13th Champions League title, but it also silenced his critics.
While everyone was understandably going gaga over Bale's individual brilliance in the summit clash, one man in particular didn't appear to be impressed. Ronaldo, who himself scored a 'bicycle kick' goal against Juventus in the quarterfinals earlier this season, claimed that the Champions League needs to be re-named as he celebrated his fifth UCL title win.
Asked if he had any disappointment for failing to score in the coveted final, with Gareth Bale claiming the spotlight for his overhead kick, Ronaldo stunned everyone by replying: "Who? Maybe the Champions League should change its name to the CR7 Champions League. Who has more Champions League titles and more goals? I have won five and I am the top goalscorer again, so I cannot be sad".
Unable to score earlier, Ronaldo was also visibly distraught in the 85th minute when Bale, rather than passing the ball to CR7, went for his hat-trick, only for Lovren to make a wonderful last-man tackle to eventually deny the Welshman. Here's a look at what fans think about Bale's performance and Ronaldo's flop-show:
Cristiano Ronaldo will have nightmares about that Gareth Bale goal— Troll Football (@TrollFootball) May 26, 2018
After an injury to Salah, a massive f*ck up by Karius and an incredible goal by Bale, Ronaldo is trying to work out how he can somehow make this final all about him.— Paddy Power (@paddypower) May 26, 2018
1 - Number of Real Madrid fans gutted Gareth Bale scored an incredible goal. Cristiano.— OptaJoke (@OptaJoke) May 26, 2018
Just watch Ronaldo reaction as Bale's second goal goes in
He looks as if Liverpool have just equalised
Just get out Gareth mate
Ronaldo's reaction at FT was pathetic, tried to turn the attention off Bale and Madrid and made the the main headline about his future.
The only best thing he goes down as is being Arrogant. Even when Bale was going for the hat trick he threw a fit #UCLFinalâ â
Lmao Ronaldo's reaction to Bale's second goal. "Oh yeah, sure, HIS shots you let through." #UCLfinal— Daniel @Index III! (@DanielonDeck) May 26, 2018
LOL RONALDO IS SUCH A DICK THAT REACTION TO BALE NOT PASSING TO HIM— Paul Em Dee (@RocketIntellect) May 26, 2018
Look at Ronaldo's reaction, this is why this pair has never worked. Ronaldo is selfish and Bale needs to be selfish too— Civil Fandom (@anilizer_34) May 26, 2018
May 26, 2018