Since his arrival at Tottenham from Southampton in 2007, Gareth Bale has become one of the world’s deadliest wingers. It has been a meteoric rise for the Wales international, who began his career at left-back but has blossomed in a more attacking role.
Bale made his competitive debut for Spurs in August 2007 against Manchester United, but it wasn’t until the second half of the 2009-10 season that he started to come into his own. Bale was named Player of the Month for April 2010, scoring crucial goals against Arsenal and Chelsea as Spurs secured Champions League qualification.
And it was on the European stage that Bale really proved himself. Just ask Inter Milan full-back Maicon. The Brazilian - arguably the best right-back in the world - was powerless to stop a rampant Bale scoring a hat-trick at the San Siro and putting in a man-of-the-match performance in the return game at White Hart Lane. Maicon is not the only defender to have been terrorised by Bale’s combination of lighting pace and incredible strength, however. The Welshman does it in the Premier League on a regular basis.
For Wales, Bale made his debut at the age of 16 in 2006 and is the shining light for a bright, young squad that has shown dramatic improvement in recent years. It is no coincidence that that improvement coincides with Bale’s emergence as one of the world’s best.
Bale’s excellent performances in 2010-11 saw him named PFA Player of the Year, and he was also the only British player to be named in UEFA.com users' 2011 Team of the Year.
A season later he would hammer home his reputation as a world beater, making it impossible for Spurs to resist the advances of Real Madrid, who were willing to break the world transfer record to make him a Galactico. After well over 100 appearances for the club, he bid farewell to White Hart Lane in September 2013 for the bright lights of the Bernabéu. The world expects - and you can bank on Bale to deliver.
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