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Fifa

Mohamed Salah goal against Everton wins Puskas award but Gareth Bale snub at The Best Fifa gala is farcical

Welshman’s overhead winner against Liverpool in the Champions League final surely should’ve won goal of the year over Mo Salah at Fifa’s The Best awards

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 September, 2018, 3:47pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 September, 2018, 3:47pm

Gareth Bale probably thought his days of being overlooked were over following Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit from Real Madrid, but the Welsh star suffered another snub at Fifa’s The Best awards.

Bale and Ronaldo both scored stunning overhead kicks in last season’s Champions League, but despite Bale’s being decisive in the final against Liverpool, it was the Portuguese who landed Uefa’s goal of the season award for his effort in the quarter-finals at Juventus.

“I want to know who is on the panel because they should be sacked,” Bale said last week, admitting his anger at being reduced to a substitute’s role in Kiev drove him on the score the sensational strike.

And he won’t be in any better of a mood after Mohamed Salah beat him and Ronaldo to the 2018 Puskas Award for Fifa’s best goal of the year.

Yes, Salah’s strike against Everton in the Premier League was impressive, but James Milner just about summed things up on Twitter.

“Congrats @MoSalah on your 7th best goal from last season winning goal of the year,” the Liverpool midfielder tweeted.

A selection panel featuring goalscoring legends Miroslav Klose, David Trezeguet and Marco van Basten somehow managed to conclude that Bale was second best, though. And fans on social media have jumped into the debate with both feet.

Fifa The Best: Luka Modric, Marta and Mohamed Salah triumph as Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo miss out on biggest awards

“The occasion, the goal both so much better. To be a player who has hardly played all season and to come off the bench to score a goal like that in the UCL final. It’s unreal,” wrote one user on Twitter.

“Salah getting the Puskas award is a joke,” wrote another, while one netizen weighed in: “Gareth Bale has been robbed.”

One gracious Liverpool fan even admitted that Bale’s effort deserved to be given the award.

“Salah was magical last year but there was only one Puskas winner, Gareth Bale’s bicycle kick!” he wrote on Twitter. “As a Liverpool fan it was heartbreaking but it was breathtaking too. Simply stunning, one of the great goals we’ll ever see in a final.”

Bale was quick to congratulate his teammate Luka Modric for winning Fifa’s best male player of the year in London on Monday, but he stayed silent on his own award snub.

Perhaps wisely, because he doesn’t need to say anything – his football this season is already doing all the talking.

Bale has had to play second fiddle to Ronaldo for the past five years, but now the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has gone to Juventus, it’s his time to shine at the Bernabeu.

While he was a bit-part player under Zinedine Zidane, Julen Lopetegui clearly rates him highly, and Bale has repaid that faith with four goals in six games.

At 29, he should be right at his peak, which is a scary thought for a player who has already won the Champions League a staggering four times.

But Bale will feel he has unfinished business, despite those European crowns, because he started as a substitute for the last two of them.

While his Puskas snub will hurt, Bale can use it as more motivation to keep proving his doubters wrong. Maybe he’ll even be taking Modric’s best player award next year.