Gareth Bale has played his last game for Real Madrid and will seek a move to another club before the 22/23 season gets underway.
The treatment Bale has received in the Spanish capital has been nothing short of a disgrace and I’m relieved he has finally decided to pack his bags and head for greener pastures.
An icon of British sport, Bale was awarded an MBE earlier this month in recognition of his glittering career and status as a household name. Despite scoring several big goals in big games, the Real Madrid faithful never took to Bale the same way they did with other attacking players and his exit from the club is hardly mourned by supporters.
Fickle Real Supporters
I’m outraged. I don’t know the precise reason why Real Madrid fans can’t warm to Bale, but these fickle supporters have no idea what they’ll be missing out on. Beloved in Wales and well-regarded in England, I only find it a shame that Bale wasn’t born in London or Manchester as our national team would’ve been perfect for him.
Surrounded by world-class players and coaches, Bale could’ve become the greatest English footballer ever. More physically disciplined than Wayne Rooney and more naturally athletic than Harry Kane, Gareth Bale would’ve been right at home playing under the Wembley lights.
Alas, it was not to be and Bale instead pledged his allegiance to Wales - something that’s a noble feat in itself. The winger is without a doubt his country’s greatest player of all time, though he doesn’t have too much competition in that regard aside from Ryan Giggs.
Bale Integral To Real Success
Bale arrived at Real Madrid nine years ago for a world-record fee in the range of £89 million. After a few highly impressive years at Tottenham Hotspur, a time when Bale was the best player in the Premier League, the Welshman impressed during his first season at the Bernabeu and played a key role in the club winning their 10th Champions League title and their first in over a decade.
Bale scored over 20 goals in his first campaign and it looked like the hefty price fee was worth its weight in gold. Things would get even better in that season’s Copa Del Rey final as he scored a last-minute wonder goal against old foes Barcelona to give Real Madrid an impressive double.
After a few more impressive campaigns and big goals, Bale’s Real Madrid career hit its apex with a couple of stunning goals in the 2018 Champions League final against Liverpool. The Welshman effectively won that final on his own, yet the occasion was overtaken by it being Cristiano Ronaldo’s final game for Los Blancos.
His love of golf, dedication to Wales, and patchy injury record are likely the reasons why the Real Madrid contingent chose to keep Bale at arm’s length. It’s a shame, though hardly surprising considering how fickle fans of European superclubs can be, yet Bale never let this distract him from his game and leaves Spain with an incredible haul of five Champions League titles and two La Liga titles.
An Englishman In Disguise
It’s this resilience and grit that makes me question whether or not Bale is secretly an Englishman in disguise. Imagine him lining up at the World Cup next to Phil Foden, Declan Rice, and Harry Kane - that would be a squad to rival even the fine Brazil squad of 1982 and would practically guarantee victory for the Three Lions this December.
Nobody is quite sure where Gareth Bale will play the remainder of his football, but we can be certain it won’t be inside the bitter, fickle cauldron known as the Santiago Bernabeu.
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