Gareth Bale hasn’t had the easiest time of it lately.
The former most expensive player in the world has been hampered by form and fitness issues in the last 12 months or so since leading Wales to the semi-finals of Euro 2016.
In fact some Real Madrid fans have really had enough, voting in favour last season of Bale being sold in the summer to free up funds to pursue other targets.
So his goal in the 3-1 win at Real Sociedad on Sunday was the perfect way to silence the boo-boys.
Picking up Isco’s perfect long-ball forward, Bale morphed into roadrunner to leave the hapless Sociedad left back looking like he was running through sludge.
Despite travelling at nearly 35km/h, the former Spurs winger had the composure to take a touch and delicately dink the ball over the approaching goalkeeper.
The goal was his sixth at the Anoeta in his career after scoring for a fifth season in a row in Sociedad’s back yard, more than any other player in La Liga history.
It was certainly a throwback to some of Bale’s finest moments when he used to terrorise defences before his chronic injury problems curtailed his career.
Bale’s future in the Spanish capital was thrown into real doubt when Isco started ahead of him in the Champions League final against Juventus in June.
The emergence of new Real prodigy Marco Asensio has also pushed Bale further down the pecking order, with Manchester United and Chelsea both lurking.
So while it wasn’t quite a repeat of when he practically ended Marc Bartra’s career in the Copa del Rey a few years ago, it was a timely reminder of what he still offers the European champions.
The Welsh dragon has breathed life back into his career.