Gareth Bale came within a lick of paint of scoring what would surely have been the Goal of the Season in La Liga, as his outrageous effort from some 50 yards out came back off the post.
Had it gone in, it would also have had a more pressing effect, by giving Madrid a draw against Athletic Bilbao; as it was, Madrid went on to lose the game 1-0 and have now lost their lead at the top of the table, with Barcelona overtaking them today.
But back to the goal, an important element needs to be clarified: did Bale actually even mean it? Was he shooting for goal?
With Chicharito and Ronaldo advancing into the box, and with Bale 50 yards from goal, the most natural thing to do would have been to swing the ball into the box with a lofted cross.
Instead, Bale appeared to take the audacious decision to shoot, apparently having spotted Gorka Iraizoz off his line.
But, the only problem with that theory is: Bale never actually looks at the keeper, and both the Vine and Youtube video below, you can clearly see that Bale’s final glance before striking to the ball, is towards his teammates Ronaldo and Chicharito.
It seems highly implausible that he could have then aimed for goal without even looking at his target.
Based on that evidence, it must be said that Bale was in all probability actually trying to cross the ball, and that his effort went horribly, but almost brilliantly, wrong.
Of course, this can’t be taken as conclusive proof, as only Bale really knows what his intentions were…
But if he can hit the target from 50 yards without even looking, he really is some player!