While this season has not seen Gareth Bale hit the stellar heights of his first season at Real Madrid it is worth how far the Welsh wizard has come in a relatively short space of time. Roy Keane was a vocal critic after Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final but Bale has had to face the doubters before this season. And always beaten them

Six years ago Bale was an out of sorts, out of favour substitute for Harry Redknapp’s Tottenham Hotspur side. At the time he was heavily linked with a move to Alex McLeish’s Birmingham side. Called the “forgotten man” at the time by the British media, the former Southampton trainee seemed to be set to become another expensive flop in the Premier League.

That all changed however when an injury crisis midway through the 2009/10 season at Spurs forced Redknapp into giving Bale an extended run in the side. The Welsh international did not disappoint, finally starting to win the hearts of the White Hart Lane faithful as the club marched into the Champions League for the first time.

From there Bale’s career went into orbit kick-started by an outrageous hat-trick in the San Siro against Champions League holders Inter Milan. He was magnificent in the return league as Spurs won 3-1 and suddenly he was on the radar of every major European club.

Bale picked up the PFA Player of the Year award in 2010/11  but when expectations and injuries started to take their toll the following season people started to doubt Bale once again. Again though he roared back and in the 2012/13 season as he picked up another PFA Player of the Year Award, the Young Player of the Year Award and the Football Writers Award becoming only the second player after Cristiano Ronaldo to complete that hat-trick.

Just three months later he would be lining up alongside Ronaldo in a Real Madrid jersey as he completed a reported world record transfer to the European giants. His first season as we know exceeded all expectations and while injury has blighted this season for the already legendary Welsh star, experience has taught us already not to write off Gareth Bale. At just 26 in July he is just coming into his prime.

For Gareth Bale, the best is yet to come.

Gareth Bale’s new range of Adidas Climachill gear is on sale at Elverys Sports


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