Updated on 18 August 2019, 23:48
Gareth Bale was once the most expensive football player in the world and a pillar at Real Madrid. Then the 30-year-old was the discontinued model, which should leave the royal immediately. At the weekend, he was now completely surprising in Real's starting eleven – and convinced. The story of a transfer farce.
There was a time when Gareth Bale was a very useful tool for Zinedine Zidane. It was still the Ronaldo years in Madrid, when there was a team in the square, which drove their attacks to eleven, but only defended to ten.
Cristiano Ronaldo had this exclusive position together with Leo Messi exclusively, only Real Madrid and FC Barcelona could afford to have a complete team for their two stars to slave, so this then in their own possession sprint to sprint, dribbling to dribbling and scoring Could score goals. It's still like that in Barcelona, not in Madrid for a year.
Gareth Bale was always one who had to work hard for CR7, who had to do the dirty work, meticulously and cleanly in the game against the ball. And thus perfectly suited to the Zidane concept of the earlier years.
Real's game was never designed with the Frenchman on the sideline to total dominance and possession, but on dynamics, speed and fast Umschaltmomente. In these phases, the grandees could shine in the attack, Karim Benzema as a striker and CR7 and Bale around it like two forces of nature that literally flew through the opposing ranks.
Nobody wants to have Bale anymore
Ronaldo and Bale, that was a kind of love-hate. Bale was always in the shadow of the Portuguese, only after important goals such as in the final of the Copa del Rey against Barca or later in his fallback in the Champions League final against Liverpool, the Welshman Ronaldos Phalanx was a little break.
But on the other hand, both of them also lived a sensible symbiosis, creating spaces for each other, even putting up a few hits from time to time. After Ronaldo's departure a little over a year ago, most people thought that Bale would now really blossom in the royal dress, that he would play in the hearts of the fans, who had given him a warm round of applause but rarely standing ovations. But just the opposite was the case.
Out of 21 goals in the pre-season were 14 and only seven assists, it was Bales second worst personal record in six years in Madrid and felt light years away from his debut season with 22 goals and 19 assists.
His own fans whistled him sometimes mercilessly. And that's why, according to the unmistakable message of his coach, should now actually be over in Madrid. After the lost friendly against Bayern a few weeks ago, Zidane publicly blurted the door. "We hope he leaves us soon – if that's tomorrow, that's even better," Zidane said then, leaving no room for speculation or interpretation other than: You're not wanted anymore.
For a million a week to China
The already tense ratio of the two at the latest by that time was no more, the replica of the Bale camp was of course not long in coming.
"Zidane is a shame to talk about someone who has done so much for Real," rebuked Bales consultant Jonathan Barnett on ESPN. "If he really does, it's only because it's in Gareth's best interest, it has nothing to do with Zidane trying to squeeze him out."
Only: Bale obviously does not want to go right. In addition, Real put a stop to Jiangsu Suning's entry into the Chinese Super League and put a fresh spin on money-making.
Bale was apparently earning more than a million euros from the billion dollar Chinese. Not per month, but a week – which would have made the now 30-year-old the highest paid footballer in the world. And what Bale would actually have moved to a change then.
For the past 30 years, the business magazine "Forbes" lists every year which professional athletes belong to the absolute top earners. This year's survey, which ran from June 2018 to June 2019, includes athletes from 25 countries and 10 sports. An overview.
The adventurous claim that Real does not want to begrudge Bale this triumph and therefore prevented the transfer, stood in the room. In reality, the reason was much more succinct:
The rumored transfer fee of 30 million euros was too low. Now, the Royal continue to have the problem to find a buyer for the possibly still tolerated player. And that's not so easy. Bale is to earn 15 million euros per year in Madrid, larger salary cuts are not intended from a player's point of view.
Bale becomes part-time
Bale has been injured time and again over the last four years, on the thigh, calf, hip, ankle, adductor, and ankle. Only 79 games in La Liga, he played in this time, about half.
Last season it was on the paper again a bit more, as was Bale but at the latest after Zidane's return at most part-time. After a fantastic start with six points scored in the first four games under former coach Julen Lopetegui, Bale's performance curve collapsed. In the end he was rather a tourist as a member of the team and made his indifference rarely a secret.
The nickname "the golfer" has long been established in the team, because Bale rather depended on the facilities around Madrid and in his own garden than to take care of his job.
Bale's estate has a three-hole golf course. Goalkeeper Thibaut Courois also reported that Bale had missed a team night with the team because the appointment was too late.
Even after six years in Spain, the Welshman did not get used to the habit of eating late and going to bed later. He – and also Toni Kroos – would have missed the evening because Bale wanted to go to bed as usual at 23 o'clock.
Strong performance in the league – is it coming to an end?
Bale is not isolated in the team only a few weeks ago, his coach has told him a departure to say the least, the heart of the club would have liked one of his top earners yesterday as today from the payroll.
And yet Bale is still in Madrid. Rumors that Bayern might be interested in the player have lasted longer. After the acquisition of Ivan Perisic and Philippe Coutinho from FC Barcelona, the Bayern should cover their need for wing and wing players but also without Bale.
So on Saturday, Real went into his seventh season with Celta Vigo with his problem child – and it came as a great surprise.
Zinedine Zidane gave Bale a place in the starting eleven, despite all the quarrels and statements that made the Cause Bale a veritable transfer posse.
And even more surprising: The Welshman played outstandingly, preparing for Real's 3-1 win including the opening goal by Karim Benzema with a spectacular single action. The crazy story of Gareth B. is richer by a crazy twist.
As of today, Bale is allowed to stay for the first time, he is tolerated and should – as happened at the league start – just do his job.
But the transfer window is still open a while, the names Neymar and Christian Eriksen are still traded as potential entrances.
Then Real Gareth Bale would probably want to give up immediately. The question is just whether Bale can do that at all or in this case does not prefer his contract expires in 2022. And by the way plays a little golf.
FC Bayern presents (finally) his new signing for the wing: From Inter Milan comes the former Dortmund and Wolfsburg Ivan Perisic. The 30-year-old Croatian is on loan to Munich.