Real Madrid won the Champions League for the 12th time in their history after a 4-1 win over Juventus.
Cristiano Ronaldo was the star, scoring twice with Casemiro and Marco Asensio also getting on the scoresheet.
The result means that Real have made history by becoming the first club to retain the competition in its modern format.
Zinedine Zidane was bold in his selection choices, leaving Bale on the bench with Isco preferred in his place.
James Rodriguez, who has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United, was omitted from the 18-man squad entirely.
Bale was introduced late into the second half, but was unable to mark his return to Cardiff with a goal.
Real Madrid's Champions League player ratings against Juventus Sat, June 3, 2017
Express Sport brings you Real Madrid's player ratings from the Champions League final against Juventus
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Keylor Navas – 7.0
Gareth Bale has now won the Champions League three times with Real Madrid
We have made history, we'll enjoy this moment now
Real Madrid star Gareth Bale
However, the Wales international has spoken of his delight at winning the competition for the third time in four seasons.
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"What an incredible scene. The city has done an immaculate job in hosting a great event," he said.
"To win this at home is a great feeling, it's been a hard season, I've worked tirelessly to get fit and these are your rewards.
"We have made history, we'll enjoy this moment now.. We needed confidence at half-time, and we had to take our chances which we did.
"I was happy to get on."
Bale's own future at the Bernabeu is uncertain beyond this summer with United in the mix for his signature.
Real Madrid celebrate beating Juventus to win the Champions League
The Red Devils have long harboured hopes of signing the 27-year-old, having missed out on him during Sir Alex Ferguson and David Moyes' time in charge.
And BBC pundit Alan Shearer reckons the former Tottenham star has a big decision to make on his future.
"That's another decision the manager got right," he said.
"Isco has been superb and he had to make a choice with Bale tonight. It's been a very successful move for him to Madrid so he will decide on his future.
The stats for a lot of this season for when Bale has been out doesn't favour him well though so they will have to look at that.
He will have options from the biggest clubs in the Premier League if Madrid decide to sell him that's for sure."