The Jamaican icon believes Bale's turn of pace is aided by the Real Madrid forward's past endeavours as an athlete, reported by Gerardo Riquelme of Marca:
"He showed his great speed when he swept past the defence and then kept his cool and slipped the ball under the keeper's legs," said Bolt. "He's the fastest footballer in the world at the moment."
Bale's cool finish all but ended Barcelona's hopes of silverware this season. His heavy touch beyond Marc Bartra on the halfway line was followed by an outrageous burst of pace, especially considering 85 minutes were on the clock, leaving the Blaugrana defence in tatters. Tekkers Vines posted a video for those who missed it:
While it seems Bale could have pursued the Olympic dream with his sprinting skills, Bolt's envy is typical of a star who continues to show admiration for football. He is one of Manchester United's most famous fans and is often seen interacting with the club.
He was reported to feature in United's famous shirt during Rio Ferdinand's 2013 testimonial against Sevilla, but this didn't come to fruition.
During promotion for a Manchester derby fixture in 2012, Bolt appeared alongside Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero in an advert produced by Puma. After spending time with Bolt, Aguero jokingly suggested he was good enough to represent the Red Devils, but not their rivals, per Telegraph Sport:
Usain was terrible at the beginning, but I realised after a while that he was just trying to wear me out. When he started to play properly, he showed some skills though. He is not good enough to play for City, but I think he would have a good chance of getting into the United team.
Bolt's admiration for Bale's goal is amplified by the athletic ability shown by the Los Blancos star. The Welshman's pace and power is unstoppable at that time in such a gruelling match. It is reminiscent of Madrid legend Paco Gento, whose game was also defined by his confident ability to sneak the ball beyond his mark before switching the afterburners into life.
When asked what he thought about Bale's moment of genius, Gento recalled similar instances from his own career, per Enrique Ortego of Marca:
Well that I had done the same thing a few times myself! Quite a few...Some family members and friends called me. 'You used to do that, Paco,' they said...And they're right, I did—above all when I saw a defender coming at me from the front or sides. I used to send the ball forward and run after it so that I wouldn't be caught.
Gento challenges Bale to do the same again during Madrid's Champions League semi-final tie with Bayern Munich, a match that will be crammed with speedsters including Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben.
Bale's physical ability has translated well to Spanish football, scoring 14 goals and providing 12 assists in 25 appearances, per WhoScored.com. His sprinting skill ensures he remains incisive until the last; a trait that is sure to capture many more victories for Carlo Ancelotti's side throughout the future.
He certainly has a famous admirer in Bolt, who knows what it takes to maintain global success. The 27-year-old may look on with jealous eyes, but when you've won six Olympic gold medals and remained an international icon throughout your career, something is going right.
Bale's goal was undoubtedly the watershed moment of his career so far, underlining his name to those who doubted his potential for Madrid. While consistency is key for the former Tottenham player's chances of success, like Bolt, his natural ability possesses the efficiency to conjure up victory during the most important situations.
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