Bale 100: Wales superstar's best strikes from his Real Madrid century
Real Madrid have another member in their 100 club after Gareth Bale sealed glory in El Derbi against Atletico Madrid on Saturday.
The Wales forward was a world-record signing when he moved to the Santiago Bernabeu for €100m in 2013 and has gone on to win four Champions Leagues with Los Blancos.
He also counts the 2013-14 Copa del Rey and 2016-17 LaLiga titles among his honours and has illuminated key clashes at home and abroad.
Here, we look back at six of Bale's best.
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) 27 December 2018
Elche (H) – LaLiga: February 22, 2014
After taking a little time to settle following his arrival, Bale really began to hit his stride after the turn of the year in his debut Madrid season. The vital second goal in a 3-0 win over Elche at the Bernabeu came in scintillating fashion when he clattered home a 30-yard strike via the underside of the crossbar.
Rayo Vallecano (H) – LaLiga: March 29, 2014
No team has felt Bale's wrath more regularly than Rayo, who have conceded to the Welshman on nine occasions. As part of a brace in a 5-0 thumping, he burst through two challenges when a Rayo corner was cleared. That began a rampaging run of nearly 70 yards, which concluded with a cool finish.
Barcelona (N) – Copa del Rey: April 16, 2014
Bale turned on the afterburners again when it mattered most against Madrid's bitter rivals in the Copa del Rey final at Mestalla. With the game locked at 1-1 and extra time beckoning, he collected possession on halfway, booted the ball past Marc Bartra, sprinted off the pitch and around the beleaguered defender before prodding beyond goalkeeper Jose Pinto. A sidelined Cristiano Ronaldo celebrated amid bedlam in the stands.
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) 7 August 2018
Legia Warsaw (A) – Champions League: November 2, 2016
The Champions League campaign that ended in glory against Juventus in Bale's native Cardiff featured a group-stage slog in Poland – Mateo Kovacic salvaging a 3-3 draw five minutes from time. Such a turn of events seemed unlikely when Bale swivelled to thump a still-rising strike into the top-right corner from 25 yards inside the first minute.
Borussia Dortmund (A) – Champions League: September 26, 2017
Picking Bale's best volley from the 2017-18 Champions League season is not the straightforward task you might think. His stunning, side-footed finish from Dani Carvajal's delicately chipped pass to open the scoring in a 3-1 win at the Signal Iduna Park was a thing of rare beauty.
Liverpool (N) – Champions League: May 26, 2018
Benched by Zinedine Zidane for Europe's showpiece game, Bale came on with a point to prove and a game in the balance. He had been on the pitch a shade over two minutes when he launched himself to hook a remarkable overhead kick into the top-left corner from Marcelo's hopeful cross. The destination of a trophy synonymous with Madrid rarely felt in doubt after that unforgettable moment.