Why Gareth Bale deserves more respect at Real Madrid
Gareth Bale arrived at Real Madrid for a then world-record transfer of 101,00 Mill. € in 2013. The amount of support he got at that time from the fans and club contrasts with his present situation. The Welshman once touted as the future of Los Blancos, is now unwanted at the Bernabeu.
The recently unfolded events around Bale during the 2019-20 summer transfer window made a lot of headlines. The Spanish club was adamant to offload the former Spurs star at any cost; however, the deal failed as the winger didn’t want a move to China.
This was a blessing in disguise for Real Madrid as Bale is currently the leading goal scorer for Los Blancos in the ongoing La Liga season. The former Spurs winger started his new season with an assist in the opening game and scored a brace against Villarreal in the previous match to save his side from a defeat.
The journey of Bale at Bernabeu has been nothing less than a roller coaster. The Welshman made his mark in his first season with Los Blancos. During the 2014 El Clasico Copa Del Rey final, the former Spurs winger ran past Marc Batra like Usain Bolt before nutmegging Jose Pinto to score the winning goal. This was his first goal against Barcelona and 20th goal of the season with Real Madrid.
This was just the start of a dream debut year for Bale. After a month, the Welshman headed the deflected cross of Angel Di Maria past Thibaut Courtois to hand over Real Madrid their 10th UEFA Champions League title. He followed that up with a goal in the final against San Lorenzo, which won Los Blancos’ their first-ever FIFA Club World Cup title.
The second season with Real Madrid was quite successful for Bale in terms of personal achievements as he scored 17 goals and provided 10 assists. This was the season where the front trio, Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo aka BBC, achieved an incredible feat of 100 goals in a single year.
The Welshman became prone to regular injuries from the 2015-16 season. The former Spurs winger missed around 15 games in this season, but still managed to score 19 goals along with providing 12 assists in his 31 appearances for Real Madrid. Bale’s contribution helped Los Blancos capture the league title, Madrid’s second in the current decade.
In the same season, Bale provided an assist for the only goal of his side in the UEFA Champions League final that forced a penalty shoot-out against city rivals, Atletico Madrid. The Welshman scored from the spot and lifted his second UCL in three seasons with Los Blancos.
The 2016-17 season was the most difficult for the Welshman. The former Spurs winger missed 29 games due to injuries but was a substitute in the UCL final. Real Madrid defeated Juventus, 4-1, and the Welsh captain lifted the trophy in his hometown, Cardiff.
Bale was once again prone to regular injury in the first half of the 2017-18 season but managed to score 20 goals with five assists at the end of this year. The Welshman’s most memorable moment of this season was in the Champions League final at Kiev.
The winger opened his account with an overhead kick, which will go down as one of the finest goals in UCL history. He also scored another, but that was more because of Loris Karius’ error. This helped Real Madrid in capturing a third consecutive UCL title.
Bale was Real’s best player in three UCL finals. That is something special and underlines his ability to raise his game in crunch situations. Is that a characteristic of an ‘average’ player? I think not.
We always talk about Cristiano Ronaldo being Real’s talisman, but during the crucial moments, Bale stepped up his game and scored important goals.
Bale has scored the same number of goals as Ronaldo Nazario (104) for Real Madrid in his career. The Welshman matched this feat after playing 57 games more than the Brazilian, but we have to consider that the former plays as a winger while the latter played mostly as a striker.
Also, coming to the number of assists, Bale has assisted 66 goals, which is the same as Zinedine Zidane provided in his Real Madrid career. Moreover, Luis Figo scored 56 goals and provided 93 assists in his 245 appearances with Los Blancos. If we compare these stats, then I don’t think that Bale deserves such kind of treatment from the Real manager and the fans.
cover picture credits: m.aawsat.com