With the news that Real Madrid and Wales superstar Gareth Bale will not travel to be a part of the squad for his club’s Last 16-second leg clash at the Etihad against Manchester City. News which is made even more remarkable when you consider Sergio Ramos has been included despite being suspended, and clubs are allowed 12 substitutes for the tie. Questions have been raised once more as to what next for the once critically acclaimed Welshman.
Should Gareth ‘Bale’: Could It Be Time To Say Goodbye
Now 31 and having made over 150 appearances at Madrid whilst winning every possible trophy there is, could it now finally be time to part ways for the clearly out of favour Bale. Since Zinedine Zidane‘s return to the Bernabeu as a manager, the writing has been almost carved into the departure lounge wall for the former Tottenham man.
It is unclear whether there has been negligence from Bale or whether he has simply been mistreated by the powers that be at the club. Perhaps he could be accused of being guilty of downing tools slightly, however recent reports would suggest he has trained well throughout.
What seems more likely is his club hasn’t taken kindly to the Welshman’s golfing habits, as well as his apparent miraculous recoveries whilst on international duty in the pat in order to represent his country, after being sidelined for his club. Whatever has sparked the fallout, it is now in the public conscience, and for all to see.
During Real’s recent La Liga celebrations Bale was very much on the outskirts of the group, almost making a mockery of his own participation and input to the achievement. There can be no doubt since arriving in Spain Bale has enjoyed the highest of highs, scoring some memorable goals on the biggest occasions.
Despite remaining fully fit for the majority of 2019/20, something which has proved difficult in previous seasons, Bale made only 17 appearances in all competitions under Zidane. His lowest number of outings since joining the club in 2013.
What’s next for Bale?
After seemingly being on the verge of a Chinese move last summer, should Bale now be on the lookout for a new challenge once more? Or should he, like many might be tempted, stay in Madrid and collect his wages whilst improving his golf game. After all, he is contacted for a further two years, and on a contract as lucrative as his, it amounts to a large fortune. Money the Welshman may be reticent to forgo in search of regular game time.
Bale himself left the world in little doubt as to where his priorities lie with the unveiling of that now-infamous flag following Wales’ Euro 2020 qualification.
Notably, his two Champions League final strikes against Liverpool and city rivals Athletico respectively. It is believed it may have been the aftermath of his Liverpool wonder-strike that caused the rift between himself and Zidane, with Bale visibly unhappy after being left on the bench for the showpiece final. His Coppa del Rey solo strike which saw him leave the field momentarily will also live long in the memory, even though his own fans have never truly taken to him. Gareth Bale Best Real Madrid Goals
Has he ever settled in Madrid?
Ever since his arrival in Madrid, there has been a misconception about how Bale has integrated himself into the Spanish way of life. Contrary to many reports he actually does speak almost perfect Spanish, his apparent refusal to do so was earmarked in the early dyads as one of the reasons the Galactico’s faithful hadn’t taken to him as many expected.
Another issue for the Welsh star might’ve been the fact he wasn’t Cristiano Ronaldo, nobody else could be. With the Madrid fans idolising the Portuguese goal machine, it was always unlikely they would find enough place in their heart for Bale as well, who in their eyes on occasions took the limelight off of their hero.
Bale has certainly enjoyed the Spanish lifestyle, his family also. For the last 18 months, he has effectively taken early retirement, playing the same amount of golf as somebody far in advance of his years. So much so there have been murmurings of his golf game becoming so advanced, he could have a crack at becoming a dual-sport professional, albeit his footballing career reserved for training in recent months.
What are Gareth Bale’s options?
The options are thus, Bale stays in Madrid and as the land currently lies, barely kicks a ball in anger until his contract runs out in two years. Or he finds a move and takes a dramatic pay cut in search of competitive football once more. It is highly unlikely he will find another club willing to pay over half of his current salary, despite his undoubted talents. In the current market paying a 31-year-old in excess of 300 thousand pounds, a week seems far fetched.
There is also the possibility that Real Madrid decides to pay the Welshman off their books. Giving him a portion of, or his contract in full, in one lump sum in order to get him off their books. This would allow Bale the opportunity to find a new club as a free agent, should he wish.
One thing not in question is his continued inclusion in his national team’s squads. Bale is so pivotal to the Welsh side’s success he could potentially not play football for the next 10 months and still be in the starting lineup in Wales’ first match of Euro 2020.
However, having made his millions in Madrid perhaps the time might be right to start being the top-level footballer we all know he can be once more.