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Spain hails Bale

17 April 2014, 16:59

Madrid -Spain on Thursday hailed Gareth Bale's wonder goal that downed arch rivals Barcelona to win the Copa del Rey final.

Spanish newspapers paid homage to Bale's strength and power while the Welsh winger himself declared that winning the cup was "a dream come true".

Madrid daily Marca recreated his 58 metre run at an average speed of 27 kilometres an hour on its front page.

Inside he was christened "Gareth Bolt" thanks to a burst of pace reminiscent of Jamaica's six-time Olympic sprint gold medallist Usain Bolt.

The As daily led with "Bale brings the bullet", whilst he was also roundly believed to have won his personal head-to-head with Barca's Brazilian star Neymar in the battle of last year's big money buys.

The goal proved to be the perfect riposte for a player who had received plenty of criticism for going missing in previous big games this season.

Bale more than filled the shoes of World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo. He was involved in Angel di Maria's opener for Madrid before winning the game six minutes from time with his stunning strike.

A beaming Bale appeared before the world's media happy to admit that winning his first trophy as a Madrid player had been the highlight of his career to date.

"It is a dream come true," he said.

"It feels amazing. It is my first trophy and hopefully the first of many."

However, the 24-year-old was not as amazed as most about the run and finish that tilted the game in Madrid's favour, having scored in similar fashion for Wales against Iceland back in March.

Bale set off down the left wing and despite Marc Bartra pushing him well off the side of the pitch, he galloped through on goal to slot low past Jose Manuel Pinto.

"I actually scored a similar goal for Wales not too long ago when I ran off the pitch. I was just trying to get round him and get on the ball.

"I haven't seen it back, but I was just focused on trying to get to the ball and score."

Bale's teammates were also in awe as he sped away to mark a memorable night for Los Blancos with World Cup winner Xabi Alonso claiming he had "never seen anything like it."

Real assistant boss Paul Clement hailed Bale's stamina to be able to make such a decisive burst at that stage of the match.

"I think it just shows what an incredible athlete he is," said the Englishman.

"He has great ability technically but that just shows what immense power and strength he has -- so late in the game too.

"To be 84 minutes in and to produce that kind of run was quite incredible.

"He was a key player tonight and he has just shown what talent he has. He is a world class talent, no question about it."

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