Gareth Bale was the star of the show as Wales cruised through to the knockout stages of Euro 2016.
The Real Madrid star scored one goal and assisted another as Chris Coleman’s team beat Russia 3-0. Wales finished top of Group B ahead of England, who could only manage a 0-0 draw against Slovakia.
Bale, playing in his first international tournament, scored in each of Wales’ three group games. Talk about rising to the occasion.
SIGN UP NOW
Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250-word test article: https://gms.to/haveyoursay4
The 26-year-old assisted Neil Taylor’s goal - Wales’ second on the night - with an exquisite pass and got on the scoresheet in the 67th minute, nudging the ball over Russia’s Igor Akinfeev.
It was Bale’s eighth goal in his past nine competitive appearances for the Dragons and, quite humorously, his first non-free-kick goal of the tournament following his sensational efforts against Slovakia and England.
The winger is now the top-scorer at Euro 2016 and Wales' all-time leading goalscorer at major tournaments.
The former Tottenham man gave an insight into his set-piece technique.The average Sunday league player might just step up to the ball and strike it, but Bale, the world’s most expensive player, isn’t your average Sunday league player.
“I hit it slightly different depending where the ball is and how close I am,” he said, per the Telegraph. “It depends where I am on the pitch and what side. I used to curl them before but I stared a different technique because I found it more exciting.
“I found the curl a bit boring. This style of free-kicks is more exciting. It can go 50 yards over the bar but then it can look even better when it goes in.
“The ball can go anywhere – up or down. Obviously you aim for a part of the goal but even when I hit it against England it started in the middle and then it just dropped fast.”
Will Gareth Bale win the Ballon d'Or in his career? Let us know in the comments section below!
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms