As the bookies fall over each
other to shorten the odds on Gareth Bale returning to the Premier League this summer, spare a thought for the man himself.
Pilloried everywhere he roams, on the pitch even in the car park, Gareth Bale is a man under pressure to perform at Real Madrid.
But the world’s most expensive player
is at the Bernabeu for a reason.
Here is a young Welshman, who
through sheer weight of personality and self-belief, forced his way from
left-back to wing back to left-winger and finally centre-forward, scoring half
of Tottenham’s goals the season before last.
All this via a loan spell at Nottingham
Forest, where he was nearly offloaded.
From the Real Madrid museum at the Bernabeu
If his first season at Real was
dreamy, his second has proved a rude awakening
Stooping to score a brilliant
header befitting the Champions League Final, he also used every sinew of his
admirable physique to score one of the goals of the season in the Copa Del Rey
Two trophies, two great goals and a gaggle of ungrateful, spoilt Real fans with short memories.
How dare those fans kick his car while driving out of Madrid’s training ground after defeat in Barcelona. Had
Ronaldo not been offside, he'd have scored.
And the 25-year-old should ignore
everyone of them. He’s earned the right to play for the Galacticos.
Champions League night at the Bernabeu
And he is a Galactico.
Not only that, he's a man of character. Just look at the vigour and patriotism with which he dons the Welsh shirt. How his performances have put Wales in with a shout of qualifying for a major tournament for the first time in two generations.
The man towers above the Madrid
booboys, literally and metaphorically. What have they done but pay a few quid
for their tickets year-after-year? Sure they can boo (if it empowers them) – but they don't have the right to hooliganism.
Tough it out and rise above it,
Gareth. The Madridistas are absolutely wrong about