In a few days, a long career in Madrid, that of Bale (32 years old), similar to that of Modric in time, will end in a very different way. The Welshman also ends his contract this summer, but he will leave the entity through the back door. His starting role against Espanyol was not expected despite the need to rotate before City, but It will not even be part of the call against the parakeets. Some serious discomfort in his back makes him stay out at the last minute. After that game he would only have the opportunity to say goodbye to the fans against Levante, on May 12, or against Betis on the penultimate matchday.
Bale arrived at Madrid in 2013 (the Croatian a year earlier, in 2012). At the time he set a record: being the most expensive transfer in history, 101 million euros, surpassing the 96 that were paid for Cristiano. His representative, Jonathan Barnett, greeted clients in his old London office with a large mural in remembrance of him. He took up an entire wall.
After nine seasons (one of them, the last one, on loan at Tottenham), it can be said that there are two very different stages of Bale in Madrid. The first, successful, in which he was a Top-5 in the world, and a second in which, already clearly adrift, he prioritized his team more than Real Madrid. This season, for example, he has almost played more with Wales (232 minutes), with whom he has between eyebrows to play the World Cup in Qatar as the culmination of his career, than with Madrid (290 minutes).
In total, Bale has played 258 games for Madrid and has scored 106 goals. Some of them very important, clike the one that served to win a Cup in 2014 after a formidable career with Bartra. in the end of Lisbon (2014) was the one who put Madrid ahead in discount time. And in 2016, also before the Athletic, it is he who assists Ramos so that he can score. Then, the Welshman materializes his penalty in the shootout, visibly injured. But his great moment would come later, in 2018, in the final of the Champions from Kyiv before him Liverpool: a double, one of many prodigious, foreshortened Chilean.
Real Madrid renewed Bale for the last time in 2016. His contract ended in 2019 and he extended it for three more years, until 2022, becoming the second highest paid in the squad (Christian was still there). He now earns 15 million euros net per season. At that time, Bale was in top form and, beyond the injuries, which were always his Achilles’ heel, he had scored 17 and 19 goals respectively in the two campaigns prior to said renewal. Then, after the final in kyiv and without Cristiano, when he was most needed, he disappeared: only 20 white goals in three seasons without the Portuguese. Now Bale is past while still being present, and He is looking for a bridge team that will allow him to arrive in Qatar in good shape.