Former Tottenham striker, Roman Pavlyuchenko has admitted that Gareth Bale’s pace and stamina left him speechless on several occasions, none more so than the night he ripped Maicon to shreds in the 3-1 win over Inter Milan.
While the hat-trick at the San Siro got people around Europe to stand up and take notice of Bale, the Welshman’s performance in the return leg at White Hart Lane proved beyond doubt that the winger was destined for big things.
Bale destroyed Inter, who were the reigning European Champions, as he went past players with ease and provided some lovely crosses from the left flank.
Pavlyuchenko was one of the beneficiaries of Bale’s brilliance on the night as the Russian got on the end of one of his low crosses to tap the ball into the back of the net for Tottenham’s third.
For the umpteenth time on the night, Bale showed tremendous acceleration to leave the Inter defence in his wake and kept his composure to lay it on a plate for Pavluchenco, a goal that the former Spurs striker admits he is embarrassed to claim.
Speaking to The Athletic, Pavluchenco said: “I know I’m credited for that third goal, but I’ve never really felt that I was the scorer. Because this is Bale’s goal — Gareth did everything for it, so I had a very easy job — not to miss from a very easy position.
“Whenever Bale got the ball and started running, it was something! When I saw it for the first time, watching from the side, I was in shock. I couldn’t believe that a human being can run as fast as he did for 90 minutes, non-stop.
“I think he wasn’t even human at that time — it felt more like he was a robot, a machine. Which could only have been stopped if it hit a brick wall. But even that wasn’t guaranteed — almost like he could run through a wall!
“Playing with Gareth was absolutely special, I enjoyed every minute of it — and that game is the kind of memory which one carries through their entire life.”
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