Gareth Bale has said he would have been a more deserving winner of this year’s FIFA’s Puskas goal of the year award than actual claimant Mo Salah.
Bale’s spectacular overhead kick was the second goal in Madrid’s 3-1 victory over Liverpool in last season’s Champions League final. However Puskas voters among the public went for the Egypt international’s goal for the Reds against Everton in December 2017’s Premier League Merseyside derby.
On winning FourFourTwo magazine’s goal of the year award, Bale said that Salah’s victory had “diminished” the status of the Puskas award.
“Yeah, I was surprised by that, to be honest,” the Wales international said. “What can you say?
“It makes the award look a little diminished, although it was obviously a great goal by Salah.”
Bale, 29, denied there had been any good fortune involved in his goal against Liverpool, when he acrobatically met Marcelo’s cross and powered the ball past goalkeeper Loris Karius.
“It was instinctive,” Bale said. “I got my body positioned correctly, got my footwork right, and caught it perfectly.
“When you catch the ball perfectly, you know it’s on target. You just have to hope the keeper doesn’t make an unbelievable save. So, as soon as I hit it, I knew it had a chance of going in. If you watch it, you see my head turn straight away. I knew where the ball was going.”
The former Tottenham player accepted it was the best goal of his career to date, especially considering the setting.