Gareth Frank Bale is a Welsh footballer who plays as a winger for Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League and for the Wales national team. He made his debut for Southampton in a 2–0 victory against Millwall on April 17, 2006. Bale scored his first league goal against Derby County on August 6, tying the score at 1–1. He was crowned the Football League Young Player of the Year on March 4, 2007, after winning the Carwyn James Award for BBC Wales Young Sports Personality of the Year in December 2006. Bale signed a four-year contract with Tottenham Hotspur on May 25, 2007, and made his Spurs debut in a friendly against St. Patrick’s Athletic on July 12, 2007. Bale’s first involvement in a Premier League victory came against Burnley on September 26, 2009, after a record 24 Premier League games for Spurs without being on the winning side. He was selected Barclays Player of the Month for April 2010 as a result of his outstanding performance. Bale received the PFA Player of the Year title on April 17, 2011, as voted for by his peers. Bale was one of the players named to the UEFA Team of the Year 2011 on January 5, 2012. For the second time in his career, he was named Premier League Player of the Month in January 2012.
Childhood and Adolescence
Frank and Debbie Bale gave birth to Gareth Frank Bale on July 16, 1989, in Cardiff, Wales. His father, a local school caretaker, and mother, a local operations manager, enrolled him in Whitchurch’s “Eglwys Newydd Primary School,” where he was seen by Southampton football club scouts. At the time, he was just nine years old.
Bale attended the ‘Whitchurch High School’ after finishing his elementary school, when his athletic abilities drew the attention of the authorities. Aside from football, he was also a fixture on the rugby and hockey fields, succeeding in all three. He had won the ‘Cardiff & Vale Senior Cup’ and the school award for contributions to sport by the time he completed high school in 2005.
Bale was selected into the ‘Southampton football club’ in 2006, just a year after graduating from high school, making him the club’s second-youngest player ever. In a 2-2 draw with ‘Derby County,’ he scored his first club goal.
Bale was named the BBC Wales Young Sports Personality of the Year while at Southampton. At the time, he was regarded as a free kick expert, having scored three of the club’s five goals from free kicks. He played 45 appearances for Southampton, the last of which was on May 12, 2007 against ‘Derby County’.
He was signed by ‘Tottenham Hotspur’ in a five million pound deal within two weeks. He had an instant impression for the squad, scoring three goals in his first four appearances, including one against a tough ‘Arsenal’ side.
After sustaining an injury in a league game against ‘Birmingham City,’ the tide swung against Bale. He was ruled out for the remainder of the season due to ligament injury in his right ankle. After signing a new four-year contract with the club, he returned to the team the following season. However, due to his poor performance, he was forced to sit out the most of the season.
The next year, he had knee surgery and returned to the field. He went on to score vital goals against a variety of opponents, including ‘Arsenal’ and ‘Chelsea,’ assisting the ‘Spurs’ in qualifying for the ‘Champions League’ in 2009.
Bale remained with the Spurs for the following three seasons, scoring important goals against difficult opponents. During that time, the ‘Spurs’ were unable to win any major championships. Bale, on the other hand, was outstanding and won several accolades, including the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year, as well as the FWA Footballer of the Year, making him only the second player in history to win all three main categories in the same season (2012-13). Bale appeared in 203 appearances with the Spurs, scoring 55 goals.
Other teams had been interested in him for some time, and he ultimately opted to join ‘Real Madrid’ in the second half of 2013. The contract was for six years, although the cost was not disclosed at the time. Speculation abounds as to how much ‘Real Madrid’ spent for Bale, and it was ultimately confirmed in January 2016 to be 100.8 million Euros, a global record at the moment, exceeding Cristiano Ronaldo’s 94 million.
Bale had an immediate impact on his new club and supporters by scoring a goal in his first match against ‘Villarreal.’ However, injuries hampered his season, and he missed several key games following that, appearing in only five of Real’s next 16 games.
Bale’s performance continued to astound after he was in shape, earning him the moniker “The Cannon.” During this time, his most memorable goal came in the 2014 Copa del Rey final against archrivals ‘Barcelona.’ In the 2014 ‘UEFA Champions League Final,’ he also scored the game-winning goal against his neighbours, ‘Atletico Madrid.’
His performance dipped the next season. He did play an important role in the team’s victory, scoring and assisting on several occasions. He continued his tendency of scoring in finals, as he scored the game-winning goal against ‘San Lorenzo,’ enabling his team win the ‘Club World Cup.’
Bale had a successful 2015-16 season. He was a consistent starter for the club and a key contributor to their success. Against ‘Rayo Vallecano’ and ‘Deportivo de La Coruna,’ he scored two hat-tricks this season. He now has 43 goals in ‘La Liga,’ overtaking Gary Linekar as the best scoring British player in the competition.
Bale signed a new contract with Real Madrid before the start of the 2016-17 season, extending his tenure at the club until 2022. Despite missing the most of the season due to an ankle injury, he appeared in 19 games for ‘Real Madrid,’ including the 2017 ‘UEFA Champions League’ final.
The top player had a successful 2017-18 season, as his side won the UEFA Super Cup and the Supercopa de Espana. In the 2018 ‘UEFA Champions League’ finals versus ‘Liverpool,’ he scored two goals, becoming the first substitute to do so in the League finals. He was named ‘Man of the Match’ for his efforts.
Bale scored a hat-trick in the 2018 ‘FIFA Club World Cup’ semi-finals against ‘Kashima Antlers.’ After Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suárez, he became the third player in the history of the ‘FIFA Club World Cup’ to score a hat-trick. In the end, his squad won the ‘FIFA Club World Cup,’ defeating Al-Ain FC in the final.
Bale scored his 100th goal for ‘Real Madrid’ in a 3-1 win against cross-city rivals ‘Atlético Madrid’ on February 9, 2019. While he is presently playing for ‘Real Madrid,’ rumours abounded that he would be transferred to a Chinese club with whom he was “enraged.”
Bale has been a member of the Wales national football team since he was 16 years old, in the 2005-2006 season. He was the youngest player to play for Wales at the time. Despite the fact that he was eligible to play for England, he opted to stay with Wales. As of 2019, he has played 79 times for Wales, scoring 32 goals, overtaking Ian Rush as the all-time highest Welsh goal scorer. After scoring his first international hat-trick against China in the 2018 ‘China Cup,’ he overtook Rush.
Bale was also expected to compete in the 2012 ‘London Olympics.’ However, due to a dispute, the Welsh football association decided not to participate in the Great Britain team. Bale was willing to go against his country’s wishes in order to be a member of the Great Britain team. However, owing to a back ailment, he had to withdraw from the competition.
Personal History and Legacy
Bale now resides in Madrid with his fiancée Emma Rhys-Jones. Alba Violet and Nava Valentina, the couple’s two children, were born in 2012 and 2016, respectively. Alex Charles, their son, was born in 2018.
In his ten-year career, Bale has supported a number of big brands, including Adidas and EA Sports. In fact, he was featured with Lionel Messi on the cover of EA Sports’ most successful game, “FIFA 14.”