Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale

Football Player
Gareth Bale

1989 Cardiff, Wales


Gareth Bale is a Welsh footballer who currently plays as a winger for Real Madrid Club de Fútbol in the Spanish Primera División.

He was born on July 16, 1989 in Cardiff, capital of Wales. He is the top scorer of his country and is considered by many as one of the greatest talents formed in the Premier League and one of the best players in the world.

Beginnings in England

From a very early age, Gareth Bale showed great faculties for sports. So much so that, in addition to soccer, he came to play rugby, field hockey and athletics. Precisely because of the latter sport and his specific training, he began to develop his great skill, speed, very early on. It did not take him long to stand out from the rest and he did not go unnoticed by the clubs in England. Southampton acquired the services of the young star, giving him his first big chance when he was just 16 years old. His debut was against Milwall (2-0 in favor of the Saints).

Injury setbacks soon followed. On May 12, 2007, in the first round of the Premier League promotion play-offs against Derby Country, he withdrew injured, although it did not affect him to close his signing with Tottenham Hotspur a few days later.

In his early years in England, Gareth Bale's natural position was left-back. His speed, explosiveness and continuous arrivals to the opponent's area caused great danger for the rivals. Even so, his moment of apogee and showcase at world level for the rest of the big clubs in Europe was in his fourth season at Spurs.

The English side visited the Giuseppe Meaza to face Inter Milan with Zanetti, Eto'o, Sneijder and a young Coutinho, among others, who had just won the 2009-10 European Championships. After conceding four goals, Gareth Bale threw his team on top and, from his left flank, scored a historic hat-trick. Although the comeback failed to materialize, the game will be remembered more for the young Bale's three goals than for Inter Milan's victory. After this spectacular display, the big clubs in Europe were all over him, but the Welsh player decided to renew his contract with Tottenham.

Gareth Bale frente al Inter de Milán / Fuente: Inter de Milán C.F.
Gareth Bale in front of Inter Milan / Source: Inter Milan C.F.

Finally, in his last season in England, 2012-13, André Villas-Boas began to experiment with Bale, positioning the player as a winger, winger and striker. This caused him to significantly increase his goal total, finishing the season with a total of 21 goals. Gareth Bale was named Premier League Player of the Year that year and the big teams in Europe could not afford not to try again to sign him.

Consolidation

On September 1, 2013, Real Madrid officially announced the signing of Gareth Bale for a total of 101 million euros, surpassing the 94 million that Real Madrid paid for Cristiano Ronaldo. The Welshman became the first player from his country to wear the laureate white shirt.

He made his debut against Villarreal at El Madrigal, also scoring for the first time in a 1-1 draw against the Yellow Submarine. On October 29, he made his debut as a starter at the Santiago Bernabeu against Sevilla, scoring two goals and sharing two assists in a 7-3 victory for the white team. His first goal as a madridista in the Champions League came against Juventus and his first hat-trick came against Real Valladolid at the Bernabéu.

Gareth Bale, in his first season at Real Madrid, had already established himself as one of the best players in the world, and the trident formed by him, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, known as the BBC, wreaked havoc on rival goals and defenses. With the help of this trident, the white team reached a European final for the first time since 2002, but not before winning the Copa del Rey against FC Barcelona with an impressive and memorable goal by Bale, who sped past Bartra from midfield and reached Pinto's goal.

On May 24 of that same year, Real Madrid won its long-awaited Tenth European Cup. After Sergio Ramos' agonizing and historic goal in the 93rd minute, Gareth Bale headed the 2-1 after a rebound from the then Atlético goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. The Welsh player's goal ended up sinking the morale of the red and white team, who ended up conceding 4.

On August 12, he started in the victory against Sevilla to win the European Super Cup in his hometown, Cardiff, to which, a few years later, he would return to win another Champions League.

On May 28, 2016, he won his second Champions League, scoring the third goal in the penalty shootout despite his more than visible limp that he had been carrying since the start of extra time.

On June 3, 2017, Bale returned to his hometown to make history once again. The streets of Cardiff were filled with pictures of Gareth Bale, cheering the player on after his difficult season due to injuries. Real Madrid were contesting their second consecutive Champions League final and the Welsh player entered the field with nine minutes remaining to seal a resounding 4-1 victory over Juventus.

On May 26, 2018, Bale won his fourth Champions League against Liverpool, Real Madrid's third in a row being a very unlikely milestone to see again. In that final against Klopp's Liverpool, the Welshman was the great protagonist. In the 61st minute, he came on for Isco and two minutes later scored a superb goal with a bicycle kick to make it 2-1. 20 minutes later, he took advantage of the bad position of Karius, the goalkeeper, to make a powerful shot from outside the area and thus making it 3-1, while securing the victory.

Gareth Bale marcando su primer gol frente al Liverpool / Fuente: Real Madrid C.F.
Gareth Bale scoring his first goal against Liverpool / Source: Real Madrid C.F.

In the summer of 2019, and with the return of Zidane as coach of Real Madrid, Bale became the focus of attention of all the media, but not for his exploits, but for the words of his coach that he did not count on him. Finally, Bale decided to stay at the club and prove his worth, which led him to be a starter at the beginning of the season, although the situation changed again a few weeks later.

Wales national team

Gareth Bale soon came to prominence in his homeland and, in 2006, John Toshack gave him the opportunity to shine for the senior national team in a match against Trinidad and Tobago. In his second match, Bale scored his first senior goal against Slovakia with a free kick, becoming the youngest Welsh player to score in an official match.

Years later, in 2016, Gareth Bale was the main architect of the Welsh achievement, qualifying for the first time in their history for a European Championship. Precisely, in this tournament, Bale and his team were the great surprise, reaching the semifinals against Portugal and his teammate, Cristiano Ronaldo.

As of today, Gareth Bale is Wales' top scorer, with a total of 29 goals in 69 official matches, surpassing the 28 goals of the legend Ian Rush.

Biography by Javier Fernández.