According to recent reports, Gareth Bale is close to leaving Real Madrid and will return to Tottenham. The Welshman joined Los Blancos on the deadline day of the summer transfer window in 2013. Bale joined Real Madrid for a world transfer record fee of £85.3 million.
In order to sign him, Florentino Perez decided to sell Mesut Ozil to Arsenal to generate funds. This move wasn't really appreciated by fans and many considered it to be a mistake. However, Perez was adamant about signing Bale, who had just won the PFA Young Player of the Year and the PFA Player of the Year award.
During his time in Madrid, there were many moments which Real Madrid fans will always cherish. However, there have been times when his actions have caused controversies and angered the Bernabeu crowd.
The beautiful moments
Real Madrid fans will fondly remember Gareth Bale for the iconic moment he outsprinted Marc Batra to win the Copa Del Rey for Real Madrid. The Spanish giants were without thier talisman Cristiano Ronaldo for the final. The game was level, but in the 85th minute, Bale managed to score the winner for Los Blancos.
In a race against Marc Batra, the Spaniard pushed Bale towards the touchline. Despite this, Bale managed to make up for lost ground and score the winner. He was also influential in the Champions League semi-finals and final for Real Madrid the same year.
With such good performances, he managed to win over the fans at Real Madrid. Bale was also a part of the fearsome BBC trio, which also included Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo. However, injuries kept interpreting his progress, and at times, Real Madrid fans would lose their patience with him.
In the 2018 Champions League final, Gareth Bale produced a spectacular performance to win the Champions League for Real Madrid. The Welshman produced an amazing overhead kick to give Los Blancos the lead after Sadio Mane had put Liverpool level.
Bale wasn't included in starting eleven as Isco was picked ahead of him. The former Spurs winger turned into a super sub and also scored Real Madrid's third goal. After that goal, the game was virtually over and Zinedine Zidane won his third consecutive Champions League trophy.
Bale was often the talisman for the club in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo. He scored 105 goals for the club, which is more than club icon Ronaldo Nazário. The Welshman provided 68 assists, which is more than club's legend David Beckham tally.
One of the most frustrating things about Gareth Bale's Real Madrid career was his injuries. Though the Welshman could not do anything about it, his time on the treatment table was frustrating for the Madrid fans. In 2015, the crowd started to boo him during home games and this is where the resentment against him began.
Bale had won them the Copa Del Rey and Champions League just a year earlier, but it wasn't enough for the ever demanding Bernabeu. Bale's relationship with the fans hit a new low last year. During an international break, Bale was seen holding a flag which said 'Wales, Golf, Madrid- In that order'. The Welshman faced the wrath of the Bernabeu with very loud boos on his return.
It hasn't been a secret that Zinedine Zidane and Garth Bale never really had a very good relationship. In May 2018, Bale hinted that he could leave the club but Zidane responded by questioning whether he was focused at the club or not.
While Bale's agent Jonathan Barnett has always talked back to Zidane and defended his client. He went to say once, "He is a disgrace (Zidane), he shows no respect for a player that has done so much for Real Madrid." At the start of last season, Bale wasn't included in the pre-season squad as well.
Zidane publicly declared that Bale had refused to play for them in a game against Bayern Munich last year. The Frenchman also said last year that it would be better if he leaves. He said, "We hope he leaves soon. It would be best for everyone. We are working on his transfer to a new team."
When a top club breaks its transfer record for a player, the new arrival is expected to win trophies for them. Despite all the controversies Gareth Bale was a top player for Los Blancos. He was signed by the club to help them win trophies and he did exactly that.
Bale helped the club win trophies and there is no doubt about that. It should also be noted that, despite his injuries, he maintained excellent fitness levels. It is unfortunate that his time at Real Madrid is coming to a bitter end. There is a feeling of relief at the club rather than sadness that a player like Bale is leaving the club.
During his six years tenure at the club, Bale won thirteen trophies. There is no doubt that his time at the club has been a success. Though it could have been better if he had a better relationship with the fans and the manager. If he wasn't so unlucky with injuries, we might have even seen a better version of Bale.Published 18 Sep 2020, 14:28 IST