It was only a matter of time before Gareth Bale exploded for Real Madrid.
The Welsh star scored twice in his team’s 6-1 victory over Schalke 04 in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round-of-16 series Wednesday. Bale shone brightest among a host of stars in what Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti called the “perfect game” in his postgame press conference.
Bale’s first goal, which came in the 21st minute, caught the attention of the soccer world. Bale cut in from the right and dribbled past three defenders before poking a left-footed shot past Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann. The dazzling goal gave Real Madrid a 2-0 lead.
Check it out below.
Real Madrid had doubled its lead when Bale struck again in the 69th minute. Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos played a perfect through-ball to Bale, who slotted his shot home to make it 5-0.
See Bale’s second goal below.
While Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema also scored two goals apiece for Real Madrid, Bale’s breakout performance grabbed headlines. The 24-year-old looks to have shaken off the injury problems that hampered the start of his Real Madrid career. Bale now has 14 goals in 28 games (in all competitions).
The former Premier League standout is meshing with Ronaldo and Benzema to form what is arguably the most fearsome attacking trio in the world soccer.
Bale’s third and fourth Champions League goals will help him win over any segments of the Real Madrid faithful who might remain skeptical about why their team paid €91 million ($123 million, £78 million) to sign him from Tottenham Hotspur last summer.
GIFs via Reddit