GARETH BALE has equaled Cristiano Ronaldo’s record-breaking fifth Champions League trophy… despite playing just seven minutes in the competition this season.
The 32-year-old winger was an unused substitute in the final as Real Madrid beat Liverpool 1-0.
But Bale ended his career at the Bernabeu after earning a winners’ medal for the fifth time.
The Welsh captain won the competition in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and now 2022 at the Stade de France.
Vinicius Jr scored a second-half winner while Bale watched from the touchline before gleefully clinching one final winner’s medal with Los Blancos.
He even took his place in the front row at the Spanish giants’ cup lift.
The Welsh icon made the difference when the sides last met in the final in 2018, scoring an overhead kick and a long-range shot.
And although he said he was ready to take on the Reds again in Paris, coach Carlo Ancelotti failed to capitalize on his talent.
Still, several fans on social media were quick to applaud Bale and congratulate him on his fifth Champions League title – the same number as Ronaldo and one more than Lionel Messi.
One fan said: “Can we all appreciate #GarethBale dancing on the pitch and kicking his ass off at the fans who hate him – what a dude!”
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Another added: “Nice to see Gareth Bale there. He should be remembered as an absolute Real Madrid legend and one of British football’s greatest exports.
A third wrote: “What a performance from Gareth Bale. MOTM for me.”
Bale ended his Real Madrid career in fine fashion – with his 16th silver at the club, despite only playing against Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea.
His attention will now turn to international action as Wales face Scotland or Ukraine in next week’s World Cup play-off final.
Bale has already been face-timing his Welsh team-mates ahead of the Champions League final and has a chance to be his country’s hero once again by propelling them to their first World Cup since 1958.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/football/premier-league/5444335/gareth-bale-champions-league-real-madrid-ronaldo/ Gareth Bale wins the historic FIFTH Champions League title… despite playing just SEVEN minutes in the competition this season