Wales and LAFC forward Gareth Southgate has announced his retirement from football. The former Southampton academy graduate who started his career as a left-back, transformed himself into a left-sided forward and in his pomp, one of the best in world in his position.
Bale was of course part of the famed BBC (Bale, Benzema, Cristiano) and will be remembered for that goal scored in the Copa Del Rey final.
Other memories were the Welshman arguably ending the career of esteemed right-back at the time Maicon’s career on a Champions League night against Inter Milan.
Bale has evoked many happy memories for the every day football fan, but he was far from perfect. Towards the end of his time at Real, the relationship between club and player turned toxic.
It appeared the 33-year-old Bale fell out of love with the game. If he wasn’t on the bench showing as minimal interest as possible, then he was surely playing a round of golf.
Gareth Bale’s love of golf, reminds me and I am sure the rest of you all too, of that infamous sign, ‘Wales, Golf, Real Madrid in that order’. If Bale was not well loved in Spain, that now infamous sign did little to heal any rift between player and club.
As controversial Bale was when he played for his club, he was the complete opposite when playing for his country. Gareth Bale was the talismanic leader his nation asked him and wanted him to be.
Bale scored in the World Cup, which was Wales’ first since 1958. For his country Gareth Bale scored an impressive 41 goals, which will surely take some catching.
We won’t get into if he’s the Greatest British player of all time. Jimmy Greaves, John Charles would also need to be mentioned in that conversation as well as Wayne Rooney too, but 18 major trophies does deserve respect.
Love, loathe him or be indifferent about him, Welshman Gareth Bale was the enigma. In what I can describe as typical Gareth Bale, he did his first press conference when signing with LA FC in fluent Spanish to silence media critics who questioned if he could speak the language.
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