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Gareth Bale has had some excellent moments during his time with Real Madrid
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After a Real Madrid u-turn, it looks as though Gareth Bale is set to stay put in Spain this summer. 

The decision allows the Welshman to add to the plethora of career-defining moments he has delivered in the white of Real to date.

Here, Sportsmail looks back at some of the highlights of the last six years with a countdown of his top five Madrid moments.

Gareth Bale has had some excellent moments during his time with Real Madrid

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Gareth Bale has had some excellent moments during his time with Real Madrid

5 – Real Sociedad 0-3 Real Madrid (2016)

This was the first game of Zinedine Zidane’s first full season in charge and Real Madrid got off to the best possible start – ahead after just 73 seconds away to Real Sociedad thanks to Bale. 

It was his towering header that gave them the early lead – he had a habit of scoring first goals of the season. It was not only the first goal of what was to be a league winning campaign, it was also the quickest. 

And when he made it 3-0 on 95 minutes, he also scored what was to be the latest goal of the campaign. Zidane had began the season talking up the importance of winning the league – Bale’s double in Madrid’s first match set the tone.

Zinedine Zidane's first game in charge of Real saw Bale open the scoring after 73 seconds

Zinedine Zidane's first game in charge of Real saw Bale open the scoring after 73 seconds

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Zinedine Zidane’s first game in charge of Real saw Bale open the scoring after 73 seconds

He capped off his display with a second in added time as Real started the season off right

He capped off his display with a second in added time as Real started the season off right

He capped off his display with a second in added time as Real started the season off right

4 – Real Madrid 1-1 Atletico Madrid (5-3 after penalties) (2016)

Bale could hardly walk to the penalty spot after a grueling 120 minutes of yet another all-Madrid Champions League final but he hobbled up to convert the third spot-kick for his team as they beat their neighbours to lift the trophy. 

On the night, he had played better than anybody but he picked up an injury and been something of a passenger late-on. He still wanted to take a penalty. 

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This is one for all the Real Madrid critics who say he has never gone through the pain barrier for the team. 

He beat Jan Oblak comfortably and, with Ramos and Ronaldo scoring after him and Juanfran missing, Real Madrid were kings of Europe for the 11th time.

Bale had clearly been struggling with injury but scored a penalty against Atletico Madrid

Bale had clearly been struggling with injury but scored a penalty against Atletico Madrid

Bale had clearly been struggling with injury but scored a penalty against Atletico Madrid

3 – Real Madrid 4-1 Atletico Madrid (2014)

Two years before that they had finally landed the long-awaited 10th European Cup in their history. They had been over decade trying and yet Bale had helped make it happen inside his first season at the club. 

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There were 110 minutes on the clock in the Champions League final in Lisbon when he made it to the back post to head in Angel Di Maria’s deflected cross. 

It was the goal that made it 2-1 in injury time and finally killed off Atletico Madrid and secured Real Madrid’s ‘Decima’. 

This, off the back of those ‘taxi for Maicon’ moments at Tottenham, confirmed that the Champions League was going to be ‘his’ competition.

The Welshman leaping highest at the back post to put Real into a 2-1 lead against Atletico

The Welshman leaping highest at the back post to put Real into a 2-1 lead against Atletico

The Welshman leaping highest at the back post to put Real into a 2-1 lead against Atletico

He ran off into the distance after seemingly crushing Atletico's spirit in the final
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He ran off into the distance after seemingly crushing Atletico's spirit in the final

He ran off into the distance after seemingly crushing Atletico’s spirit in the final

2 – Real Madrid 2-1 Barcelona (2014)

This performance in the Copa del Rey final at the end of his first season was all about another very special goal and one that was very different to the goal he’ll be best remembered for (see No 1). 

Bale carried the ball from the halfway to the six-yard box before putting it through Barcelona goalkeeper Pinto’s legs. 

He was barged off the pitch en-route to goal by Marc Bartra but still had the pace and power to sprint ahead of the Barcelona defender and get the most dramatic of cup final winners five minutes from time. 

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The goal left the Spanish radio commentators hoarse and stunned everyone inside the Mestalla, including Cristiano Ronaldo who was injured and watching from the sidelines. It was a matchwinner and a performance that proved he could occasionally step forward and fill Ronaldo’s shoes. 

Coming in his first season and against the club’s main rivals it ought to have cemented him forever in the affections of the supporters but it wasn’t long before he was being told he ‘still had to win them over’.

Bale ran off the pitch en route to a sensational goal in the 2014 Copa del Rey final

Bale ran off the pitch en route to a sensational goal in the 2014 Copa del Rey final

Bale ran off the pitch en route to a sensational goal in the 2014 Copa del Rey final

He burst from his own half into Barcelona's box and ended up scoring past goalkeeper Pinto

He burst from his own half into Barcelona's box and ended up scoring past goalkeeper Pinto

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He burst from his own half into Barcelona’s box and ended up scoring past goalkeeper Pinto

Bale leaps in the air in front of the packed Mestalla stadium after his wonder goal for Real

Bale leaps in the air in front of the packed Mestalla stadium after his wonder goal for Real

Bale leaps in the air in front of the packed Mestalla stadium after his wonder goal for Real

1 – Real Madrid 3-1 Liverpool 2018

The greatest moment of all. Bale was incensed at not being picked to start the Champions League final in Kiev. 

In the run-up to the game he had been Madrid’s best player and top scorer yet Zidane left him on the bench, starting with Isco. He was pumped up as a consequence and when he came on in the second half he took out all his frustrations on Liverpool. 

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First came probably the greatest Champions League final goal of all time. Marcelo’s cross was behind him and not at a great height but he connected perfectly with it and put it past Loris Karius. 

He scored again to put the result beyond doubt and make Zinedine Zidane’s decision not to start with him on the pitch look almost as daft as Karius. The keeper flapped at the Bale long shot that made it 3-1. 

Real Madrid had their 13th Champions League – Bale his fourth.

Bale scoring the sensational overhead kick that helped down Liverpool in 2018 in Kiev

Bale scoring the sensational overhead kick that helped down Liverpool in 2018 in Kiev

Bale scoring the sensational overhead kick that helped down Liverpool in 2018 in Kiev

He bagged another goal too and had a key role in his side winning the Champions League
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He bagged another goal too and had a key role in his side winning the Champions League

He bagged another goal too and had a key role in his side winning the Champions League