The Welshman's bursting run and prodded shot left the Blaugrana defence with little chance of stopping the inevitable. Understandably, reaction across the internet and footballing press has lavished the former Tottenham star with praise. Here, we take a look at the best.
If you haven't seen the goal, Tekkers Vines has you covered:
Former Spurs striker Gary Lineker playfully pointed toward the sceptics with a tweet that confirmed what many already knew:
Graham Hunter, Sky Sports' Spanish football expert, utilised words made famous by Nina Simone when trying to capture the moment Bale netted against Jose Manuel Pinto:
The Times' Oliver Kay remained grounded during his assessment of the goal. He believes that, although Bale has scored better, it could be the watershed moment he needs to halt criticism from those who say he isn't good enough for Madrid:
Carlo Ancelotti, the man who has seamlessly slotted Bale into his Los Blancos side this season, hailed the forward for his match-winning display. The Italian boss confirmed he had the "perfect view" of Bale's "fantastic goal," labelling the former Southampton left-back an "extraordinary player," reported by David Kent of the Daily Mail.
Barca boss Gerardo Martino acknowledged the physical feat of Bale's performance, saying, "It is difficult to see a player be able to sprint like that at that stage of the game," per Kent's report.
Mark Pougatch of BBC 5Live also focused on Bale's energy, suggesting only a handful of players possess the afterburners to accelerate so quickly in the 85th minute:
Dani Alves' take on the goal was far more frank. The Brazilian full-back understands the passionate response of supporters and suggests Barca players could be in for a rough ride, reported by TomConn of Inside Spanish Football (NSFW):
We had several good moments but after Bale's goal, we weren't able to react. All we can do now is ask for forgiveness. They're going to rain a lot of criticism on us, but I think we're above all that. We're like the stock market; if we win, we have value and if we don't...That's how I feel about this profession. In football, if you win you're great and if you lose, you're s--t.
BBC Sporf, one of Twitter's most followed spoof feeds, posted an image that highlights the conflicting emotions of football. While Bale celebrated arguably the most important goal of his career, Barca fans looked on in disgust:
As one of Madrid's stars lapped up the plaudits, others didn't appear through injury. Although Cristiano Ronaldo's absence emerged as one of the night's big talking points, the winning squad had 21-year-old Jese Rodriguez in its thoughts.
With Jese recently ruled out for the season after sustaining a serious knee injury, per Sky Sports, Sergio Ramos reminded us about a starlet who could have significantly influenced the final if he was fit, noted by Inside La Liga:
Even so, it was Bale who announced himself in a fixture that is so often headlined by the individual battle of Lionel Messi vs. Cristiano Ronaldo. It was almost perfect that, after Bale netted the late strike, Neymar was only able to hit the post from a simple opportunity at the other end. Beyond each side's Ballon d'Or winners, Bale and Neymar are set to define many more Clasico fixtures in the future.
The 2014 Copa del Rey final was Bale's moment. His pace, power and athleticism won Madrid a game that looked to be getting away from them, producing a moment of magic that etches itself into the club's bulging history book.
Bale's strike may become more important as time passes. If his winner inspires a famous treble win, Madrid fans will surely point to the night their latest superstar thrust his side to cup victory with a piece of individual brilliance.
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