Following an up and down debut campaign for the Spanish giants, former Spurs star Gareth Bale finally proved why Real Madrid spent a reported €100m to bring him to the Santiago Bernabeu.
The Welsh international was Real Madrid’s big hope as boss Carlo Ancelotti looked to avenge his two La Liga Clasico defeats to Barcelona.
In a packed-out Mestalla stadium in neutral ground Valencia, it was Los Blancos who came out on top of an absorbing encounter following Bale’s wonderful solo goal with under 10 minutes remaining.
The former Spurs man picked up the ball on the left wing, saw the open space behind defender Marc Bartra and beat the young centre-back with blistering pace, reminiscent of his darting run behind Brazilian fullback Maicon at White Hart Lane during Spurs’ Champions League campaign.
There was still work to do, but as he cut in and faced Barcelona number two Pinto between the sticks, the 24-year-old casually slipped the ball under the aging shot-stopper much to disappointment of the travelling Barcelona fans behind that goal.
Despite Neymar blowing the chance to possibly ruin the Welshman’s evening by firing against the post in the dying minutes, Real Madrid held out for victory to seal their 18th and Gareth Bale’s first Copa Del Rey title.
Before the long and hard celebrations that awaited the team back in Madrid as fans lined the streets, Bale managed to grab a lasting photo alone with the huge trophy and left a simple message, saying: ‘Copa Del Rey champions. Hala Madrid.’