Bale, Karius send Twitter into overdrive in action-packed Champions League final
Gareth Bale's extraordinary bicycle kick provided a truly unforgettable moment in a Champions League final not short on staggering storylines.
From Mohamed Salah's early injury to Loris Karius' dual blunders and then Bale's wizardry, the match was full of talking points as Real Madrid secured the silverware for a third successive season with a 3-1 win over Liverpool.
But it will be Wales star Bale's sublime bicycle kick from a hopeful Marcelo cross in the 64th minute that will be played on highlight reels for years to come.
The strike matched Zinedine Zidane's effort of 2002 and was admired by big names across the sporting world, including NFL star Odell Beckham Jr.
Bale’s goal was ridiculous.
— Odell Beckham Jr (@OBJ_3) May 26, 2018
OMG! Bale has out Ronaldo’d Ronaldo. Incredi-BALE.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) May 26, 2018
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) May 26, 2018
While Bale lapped up the limelight, Karius was left in the doldrums and former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch hinted that his ex-employers should perhaps have retained a previous number one.
— Peter Crouch (@petercrouch) May 26, 2018
There were, however, words of encouragement for the German, with former goalkeepers Neville Southall and Mark Schwarzer both offering sympathies.
Feel sorry for Karius but it’s how you bounce back I have been there it’s a dark place to be I hope he comes through it
Believe in yourself
— Neville Southall (@NevilleSouthall) May 26, 2018
— Mark Schwarzer (@schwarzer_mark) May 26, 2018
Daniel Sturridge, meanwhile, was clearly confused by Madrid's unusual - yet entirely legal - opening goal, which saw a quick-thinking Karim Benzema divert Karius' throw into the net.
Robbery mate!!! That's not supposed to stand that!!
— Daniel Sturridge (@DanielSturridge) May 26, 2018