This guy was the kind of guy who just loves Wales. Gareth Bale was in the national team’s starting lineup against Austria and scored a double. Midway through the first half, the 32-year-old striker executed a perfect free-kick from a sharp angle and, six minutes after the break snatched the ball from a corner and unleashed an unstoppable U-turn shot.
A person who doesn’t follow soccer very closely would have thought: yes, that’s right, the captain of the Welsh national team, the Real Madrid player, who else could do the job but him? It is a fantastic chance to bet on Bale’s club or national team at Novibet Sports, and this is a great time to do so!
Except Gareth Bale doesn’t play for Real Madrid; he’s only there – 77 minutes on the pitch this calendar year. Over the last year, Bale played five games in the white shirt (never spent all 90 minutes on the field) and scored one goal – against Levante in August.
In the same period for the Welsh national team, Bale played ten matches (in all played at least 84 minutes, only against Belarus was substituted at halftime because the game was done), scored five goals and gave five goals assists.
When a smiling Bale and his national teammates raised his country’s flag in November 2019 with the memetic phrase “Wales. Golf. Madrid. Exactly in that order,” he wasn’t trying to play along with the joke. He was unpretentious.
Perhaps a column in the central sports publication Marca motivated the striker to yesterday’s exploits. The title illustration shows Bale as a mosquito crawling on the emblem of Real Madrid.
In November 2015, before the Clasico, journalists started pushing the idea that Bale and James Rodriguez should play against Barcelona – Florentino Perez saw them as future team leaders and generally did not like players with big contracts to remain on the bench. Then coach Rafael Benítez put both players in the starting lineup, got a 0-4 defeat, and was fired.
The situation with Bale in Real Madrid has long passed the point of no return. The club cannot get rid of the player because no one is ready to satisfy the financial appetite of the Welshman. And he does not want to leave the club, where they pay so well. He says you gave me this agreement, and you do not let me on the field. You can not find me another club – that’s your problem.
Bale proves that there is a strong footballer, not only in the national team. Last season the striker was taken on loan by Tottenham, and Gareth scored 11 goals in 20 games – as many as in the previous three seasons at Real Madrid, including this one. By the way, Bale has achieved even more in the national team over the past four years – 12.
Gareth seems to take exceptional pleasure in periodically reminding the soccer world what he is still capable of. And preferring a golf stick to a ball is his personal choice, not illustrating his incompetence.
Of course, you can blame the player’s lack of healthy ambition, but on the other hand – what else has Bale not achieved in his career? He played nearly 500 matches for two major European clubs. He won the Champions League four times, and no one will say that his contribution to those victories was insignificant. After all, he is the best player in his national team’s history.
We might have been talking about Bale with admiration and remorse if he hadn’t departed the English Premier League. After all, the player’s recurring injuries wouldn’t have gone away. And Florentino Perez made a mistake trying to see Bale as the future leader of Real Madrid, and for a long time, he did not want to admit this strategic mistake.
Bale can only be a leader on one team: the one where everyone accepts him.