Gareth Bale after Cristiano Ronaldo's departure
Gareth Bale broke the transfer record in 2013 after he signed for a fee close to a 100 million Euros from Tottenham Hotspur. His signing meant that he would be playing with some of the top players in the world, such as Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Karim Benzema and of course the one and only, Cristiano Ronaldo.
The hype and the excitement was there and the expectations were high. Bale scored his first goal for Real Madrid on his debut against Villareal as it took the Welsh International only 38 minutes to open his goalscoring account.
Bale did not have the season that he would have wanted to, but he took the spotlight for the first time when he shined in the final of the Copa del Rey, as he scored the winning goal against arch-rivals Barcelona.
He managed to score in the finals of the Champions League as well, against city rivals Atletico Madrid in extra time to give his side the lead and win them their first Champions League trophy since 2002. Bale ended his first year in Madrid with a total of 22 goals and 16 assists to his name.
He was part of the famous 'BBC' partnership alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema as they managed a total of 97 goals altogether. Bale's form dropped after the first season. He did manage to find the back of the net in the club's 2-0 victory against Sevilla, but after that, he couldn't manage as many goals as he wanted in the league.
As a result of which, Madrid finished behind Barcelona in both LaLiga and the Champions league as the Blaugrana managed to get both titles ahead of Madrid. His form did improve the year after as he managed to score 19 goals in 23 appearances in the league but couldn't find himself a single goal in Madrid's Champions League triumph. Meanwhile, Madrid lost the league title again to Barcelona.
The 2016-17 season proved out to be more of the same as he managed to just score 9 goals all year, but did help Madrid to a second Champions League trophy and a League title as the Los Blancos got a double in Zinedine Zidane's first year in charge.
Bale had his best season yet after the first year in 2017-18 as he managed to score a total of 21 goals. The most important two coming in the Champions League final against Liverpool. He managed to score a successful bicycle-kick to restore Madrid's lead and add a third, minutes later through a mistake by Loris Karius.
He managed to win his 4th Champions league title and his third in a row making him one of the most successful players in the competition. Bale has shown previously that he has the ability to lead a team on his own, and as the main player he scored 26 times in all competitions as Spurs missed out on the Champions League spot by a single point to Arsenal.
Bale is now said to be Madrid's main player and is going to be leading the front line this year. He already has hit the mark on his campaign as he scored in Madrid's 2-0 victory over Getafe in the first game of the week. The question is, can Madrid rely on Bale to lead the line for them and fire them to a 4th consecutive Champions league title or a League trophy?