Winger Gareth Bale hasn’t had it easy at Spanish side, Real Madrid, but he returns to England in rich form in the very important tie against Manchester City in the Semi-final of the UEFA Champions League.
The former PFA Player of the Year Award winner in 2013 returns to England in the week where Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez picks up the same award for this season. This will be the first time the right-winger will return to the country in a competitive match for his current club, since leaving Tottenham for a record-breaking fee of 85 million Pounds.
Despite scoring the winner in a Champions League final, his three seasons with the club have not been without their difficulties. The Welsh forward has directly contributed to 28 La Liga goals this season, netting 18 and providing 10 assists. Bale’s minutes per goal stands at 87 minutes this season. That’s better than both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi with 99 and 98 goals respectively. Rivals for his role in the side such as James Rodriguez and Isco have proven nowhere near as effective despite at the Santiago Bernabeu. The star player has found the net with eight headers this season, a number that is more than any other player in Europe’s major leagues.
The forward struggled at the start of the season He was jeered by Real fans in a friendly against Galatasaray and a Marca poll put him out of the starting line-up on the eve of the campaign when Benitez was in charge. Benitez supported the player and gave him more involvements in the team. He was allowed to go to central positions and he performed, hence he was not very happy when Benitez was sacked.
Under current manager, Zinedine Zidane, the player has maintained decent form that has made him among the top scorers this season in the League. He has an impressive 18 goals from 21 matches. Despite the recent injury scare, the player is expected to cause damage in the attack when they take on City on Tuesday.