Real Madrid have homed countless distinguished talents in football history and rightfully have high expectations of the individuals that represent them, but taking into consideration the globalisation of the club, are supporters’ unrealistic expectations dealing a destructive blow to the confidence levels of Gareth Bale?
Let’s remember one important thing: footballers are only human beings. Gareth Bale has recorded a respectable tally of 15 goals this season, yet according to the press and Real Madrid supporters he’s embarking on a crisis that could destroy his career in Spain.
Moreover, the future of Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is currently in jeopardy due to his failure to defend their Spanish La Liga title. The Frenchman has won successive UEFA Champions Leagues and clinched the club’s first league title in five years but impatient supporters are already calling for his head?
Has football really come to this? We’re far too quick to jump to conclusions and identify the weaknesses in an individual, rather than discover the strengths and applaud them for their talent. It’s nothing short of a disgrace in the cases of Zidane and Bale when you consider what they’ve achieved in their separate spells at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The continuous stream of opinions and scrutiny that professionals heavily involved in the game face on a daily basis is mind blowing. Bale arrived in Madrid glowing with confidence but is on the verge of leaving with a broken soul. His return of 82 goals in 185 appearances and 10 major honours since 2013 is deemed unsatisfactory to the public. What a sad world we live in to believe that a player with such an impressive record is being made an outcast at Real Madrid!
Why Bale’s Decline is a Myth
In each of the last three games that Bale has completed he’s bagged three goals and an assist, which suggests that cameo appearances from the bench are unhelpful and detrimental for his confidence and self-esteem.
Bale has been played in numerous positions this season but is still expected to fulfil the role handed to him without any difficulty. He’s played on both sides of midfield, on the right wing and as a sole striker and has also appeared as a late substitute on nine occasions this season.
Injuries have hampered his progress at Real Madrid, but regression in his playing ability is simply mythical. The press have clearly sensationalised his record by stating his current goal scoring record over the past two seasons without taking into account the finer details.
For example, Bale has netted a goal for every 140 minutes of action in the Spanish La Liga and UEFA Champions League combined this season. Yet instead we’re faced with the statistic that Bale has scored just once in the Champions League this season and that his injury issues make him a liability for any bidding club from the Premier League or elsewhere in the future.
Heading to Real Madrid for a then world record fee of £86 million was always going to leave him vulnerable to scrutiny. He was always going to be overshadowed by five-time FIFA Ballon D’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo and any sign of weaknesses would immediately be identified and scrutinised to the seventh degree.
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