Not for the first time in Gareth Bale’s Real Madrid career, the doom mongers have already declared the dream is over for the man from Cardiff after only three league goals this calendar year.
However, those who know Bale the best will be well aware of the man’s ability to rise above adversity and once again remind the world why Real Madrid paid a healthy £85.1million for the winger in September 2013.
Injuries have been a swear word in the Bale household and after numerous absentees since 2016 have called Bale’s Madrid career into question once again but this is not the first time that Bale’s Los Blancos tenure has been deemed prematurely over.
A solid start soon turns sour
Bale’s first season in Madrid came under the huge weight of pressure of the world record transfer fee hanging over his head.
Despite this, Bale still managed 22 goals in 44 games and on paper at least, his second best ever season as a professional.
In his second season, he made 48 appearances in all competitions scoring 17 times, but as the season progressed Bale started to come under fire from the home fans.
After a 4-3 loss to Schalke in the Champions League, the fans turned on Bale and it appeared they blamed him for the defeats with many so-called fans looking for free bets online started to back Bale to be heading to the Madrid exit door in the summer.
However, Bale rode the storm and in his next season had his best games to goal ratio scoring 19 times in 31 games and then starred for Wales as they made it all the way to the semi-finals of the European Championships.
New Contract Blighted by Injuries
In October 2016, Bale was rewarded for his persistence and obvious talent with a new contract until 2022 but since then things have progressively gone from bad to worse.
Just 36 games and 12 goals has been Bale’s return since signing on the dotted line and once again, the Madrid fans are quickly hanging the noose.
But perhaps a little prematurely. Bale’s quality is undoubted and his downfall has mainly been his ankle tendon that caused him to miss four months of last season.
Time to Bounce Back
Niggling injuries may have persisted and the man known for his speed may have lost a yard or two, but his quality has not been lost.
It is important to remember that he was on the field when Real Madrid won their 12th Champions League title back in May and this season has managed three goals in nine appearances.
Although not yet back to his best, at 28-years of age, bale still has a little time on his side to once again show the world that he is one of the world’s best.
Leave now, and the perception will be of failure despite his vast achievements in La Liga but write him off at your peril. Bale is a man mountain with his best yet to come.