Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale was born on 16 July 1989 in Cardiff, Wales. The Real Madrid winger is the most expensive player in football history.

 

Bale is a product of Southampton’s famous youth academy, which he joined in 1999. On 17 April 2006, Bale made his Southampton debut, at the age of 16 years and 275 days, making him the club’s second youngest player ever, after Theo Walcott.

 

The following season Bale broke into the first team, scoring 5 goals in 38 league appearances as Southampton qualified for the playoffs.

 

Bale signed for Tottenham Hotspur on 25 May 2007 for an initial fee of £5 million. Bale was mostly used as a left-back when he signed for the club and struggled to nail down a starting role for Spurs in his first few seasons with manager Harry Redknapp still unsure of his best position.

 

In the 2010-11 season Bale featured prominently for Spurs and displayed his blistering pace down the left flank, scoring 7 goals. Man of the match displays in the UEFA Champions League confirmed his ability to the world. His performances that season earned him the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and a spot in the Premier League PFA Team of the Year and the UEFA Team of the Year. Bale enjoyed similar form the following season, scoring 9 times in the League.

 

Bale upped his game in the 2012-13 season when he tore the Premier League apart, scoring 21 goals from midfield, including some world class free kicks. Bale again picked up the PFA Players’ Player of the Year, the PFA Young Player of the Year and the prestigious FWA Footballer of the Year.

 

Speculation over the winger’s future grew and in the summer Real Madrid signed Bale for a world record fee of €100 million. Bale linked up with forward partners Benzema and Ronaldo, to form the “BBC” strike force. He scored 22 goals in his first season for the club and helped Real win the Copa del Rey and the coveted La Decima, Madrid’s 10th European Cup. Bale scored the winner in the Copa del Rey final and also netted in the Champions League final.

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