Gareth Bale stunned Cristiano Ronaldo, impressed Usain Bolt and blew away Marc Bartra when he scored a goal like no other in the Copa del Rey final on this day in 2014.
Barcelona's Bartra probably did the smart thing by cynically pushing the Real Madrid No 11 off the field when he picked up the ball on halfway. But as Carlo Ancelotti appealed for the foul, Bale simply ran off the pitch, through his manager's technical area, before sprinting back on to collect the ball - while Bartra coughed on his dust.
Poor Marc. You can see his legs tighten up as he realises the F1 car he's racing has taken the long way round and still absolutely rinsed him.
Eight years ago today.— Jordan (@JordanWebber96) April 16, 2022
Viva Gareth Bale. 🏴 pic.twitter.com/qoviwLNwld
Bale, later clocked at a speed of 21.54mph, gets to the ball so far ahead of Bartra he even has time for a dodgy first touch before holding off Barca's centre-back (now beaten for speed and strength) and sticking the ball into the net.
Ronaldo, watching in the crowd due to injury, looks amazed as he celebrates Real's winner.
Olympic legend Bolt later called it: "A goal any sprinter in the world would like to score... he's the fastest footballer in the world."
All this after Bale had already played 85 minutes of a fast-paced game that was poised at 1-1 between La Liga's great rivals, before he turned on the afterburners to settle it.
The remarkable goal helped establish Bale at Real after his £85.3 million move from Tottenham the previous summer.
"I don't think I've seen anything like it," said teammate Xabi Alonso. "It looked like the ball was going out and he was under pressure - he ran off the pitch to keep it in. It was just amazing."
A dream final for Bale but a nightmare for Bartra, who had equalised for his side earlier in the match. It was the beginning of the end of his Barcelona career, as the then 23-year-old's game time had gradually increased up to the 2013/14 season - but it dipped for the next two in succession.
In 2016, he was sold to Borussia Dortmund for €8 million, before moving to Real Betis in 2018.
If it's any comfort, Bartra is not the first international defender Bale has embarrassed with his explosive athleticism.
He became a global sensation while at Spurs with a pair of displays against Inter Milan in the Champions League, including him tearing Maicon to pieces in a 3-1 win at White Hart Lane.
Warning: NSFW if you're a South American full-back.
Those were certainly happier moments in the Welshman's club career, considering what's gone on at the Bernabeu in recent years.
The feeling that Bale prefers playing for Wales than Real, not helped by him messing about with a flag saying "Wales. Golf. Madrid," following a team for his national side has not pleased fans at the Bernabeu.
Even press in the Spanish capital have turned on him, referring to the 32-year-old as a parasite and others demanding that the club sack him, following his winner for Wales in a recent World Cup qualifier.
He will finally leave Los Blancos in the summer when his contract expires but he'll always have the good memories of Champions League winning goals and one special moment in the Copa del Rey final to look back on.
Featured Image Credit: YouTube
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