Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale was seen with a radiant smile on his face after landing in London to complete his one-year loan move from Real Madrid. Perhaps, he’s left behind his quiet and successful life in Madrid amid a turbulent seven-year experience.

This smile on Bale’s face when he talks about Tottenham Hotspur clearly exhibits his happiness having been freed from the shackles of the politics of Real Madrid. 

Certainly, not all players would’ve been happier with how he was treated at the club with which he won four Champions Leagues titles, scored three goals in two different Champions League finals – including two match winners and perhaps the greatest goal the competition has ever seen and getting to leave with two La Liga medals around his neck.

Without a doubt, this is a record that should make Bale one of British sport’s greatest-ever exports. Unfortunately, the Welshman was ostracized from the team and heavily criticized by large sections of the Bernabéu, as well as the Spanish media. Most emanated from his apparent failure to grasp the language.

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Gareth Bale
Bale’s Real Madrid days are over. For Now. (TF Images/ Getty Images)

Truly, how did Gareth Bale fare during his days in the Spanish Capital?

Statistics show that the 31-year old scored 105 times in his 251 appearances at the club, of which he started 204 matches – a feat which makes him the fifth-highest goalscorer at Real Madrid in the 21st century – behind Cristiano Ronaldo, Raúl, Karim Benzema, and Gonzalo Higuaín. 

If the above feat is tagged as a failure, it’d be quite interesting to see and know what success really looks like.

Sources closer to Real Madrid revealed some time ago that one of the many reasons Zinedine Zidane left Real Madrid for the first time after clinching the 2018 Champions league was because of Bale. 

Basically, the club – and specifically Florentino Pérez – wanted to make Bale ‘the new Ronaldo’ while Zidane on the other hand never gave in to.

But in as much as this impression isn’t completely correct, it in one way or the other points to the complications of Bale in Spain.

So Zidane, unable to get any of his points across to the president, left.

And when he (Zidane) returned in March 2019, one of the main conditions for his return was the departure of Bale. But when Bale’s departure was becoming impossible, the narratives changed.

With Spurs now in the mix, there seems to be some compromise on the path of the two parties. What Zidane predicted some months back has come to reality. “If a club can pay for him, it will be the best for everyone”.

It’s hard to say why it went so wrong with Zidane. There was no big fallout, there was no great controversy, there was, however, a lot of noise for someone who is actually so quiet.

Tottenham Hotspur fans are now so delighted to have him back. He is the source of so many great moments and victories. 

The sweet thing about his loan move to Spurs is that Bale still keeps the same contract, and Madrid would still be paying 60% of his wages. That’s how bad it’s got, that’s how soured it’s become.

And yet it’s still just a loan. He is still set to return to Madrid next summer. His time as British football’s most complicated export isn’t over yet.

Babajide Adewunmi-EverBlazin
September 19, 2020
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