The boy who has it all; pace, power, strength and is living every little boys dream.

Gareth Bale is now rivalling the likes of Ronaldo and Messi for this years player of the year, but how did boy raised in South Wales become the world's most expensive player?

The story began in Cardiff where he went to school with a very good record of sporting success. Not the biggest of pupils in his school but he was known by his teachers as an excellent athlete. Not just a fantastic footballer, Bale was top of the cross country team, athletics team and even played a bit of his country's beloved sport rugby, but his passion was always football.

He was described by his schools sports staff as the boy who made every other player on the team look good due to his passing range and overall footballing technique, which would always involve bringing his team mates into the game and not showing off himself. 

Having trained with Southampton for six months he signed for the club where his dream started. In a crazy period he popped in and out of the first team and made a shock introduction into Wales first team. The goals soon came and no surprise his first was from a dead ball situation. From then on became the Saints first choice set piece taker, not a bad start for a young boy who was then playing at left back.

Due to the superb performances of the Welshman he was linked to a move to Manchester United, where Southampton were in talks with Sir Alex Ferguson, but with having only recently accepted a £12million offer for Theo Walcott from Arsenal, the Saints were not willing to accept any less for their other promising youngster, which prompted the Red Devils to end their pursuit.

Interest from Tottenham then persuaded Southampton to rethink and despite trying to persuade Gareth that one more year in the Championship would be better for his development, he felt it was to good an opportunity to turn down and off he headed to White Hart Lane.

His Spurs career got off to a steady start as the Tottenham faithful got to see the abilities of what they hoped would be a rising star in the future. But due to injury set backs it could only be described as a "stop - start"  beginning for Bale and he came under criticism for not being aggressive enough and not having the physical qualities in order to play in the Premier League.

Things went from good to bad again when he had not won a match playing for Tottenham in his first 24 games, prompting him to be dropped to the substitutes bench. He came off the bench to end talk of the winless run when Spurs where already 4-0 up and finally got that first win to savour.

This was not the end to the Bale speculation as rumours circulated he was on his was out of London on loan to Nottingham Forest or out of London full stop, rumours which seemed to had started to drain the young man's confidence.

The man who saved the career of the Welshman was Harry Redknapp. After being appointed at Spurs it was the former West Ham manager's main focus to get Bale free from injury and, after a lengthy spell of on and off the pitch, Bale came back a new player.

He looked fitter, faster and stronger, which prompted Redknapp to have a rethink to Bales role at the club and from then it was a change of position to left wing. Confidence began to come back as the player learnt more attacking abilities.

Fairly soon Bale was looking like one of the best left wingers in the world.

It was in 2010 where he really showed what he was made off, when he ventured into Champions League football and set up all four goals as Tottenham produced a superb comeback to qualify for the group stages.

From assist maker to goal scorer, in the next Champions League group game he scored his first goal, which set him up for one of the greatest nights in his career. The European Champions Inter Milan welcomed Tottenham as they tore the London side to pieces 4-0 at half time.

Harry Rednapp asked his coaching staff individually what they would do, all of them responding with: "take Gareth off the pitch".

However Redknapp refused. The game eventually ended 4-3, with a Bale hattrick which turned their Champions League belief around.

After a two legged tie to remember against AC Milan, which they won 1-0 on aggregate, it was a trip to Real Madrid in the quarter-finals that came next. The tie proved one to many for Tottenham but it was a chance for the Madrid scouts to take a look at the player they had been admiring from a distance.

His consistency for Spurs did not go unnoticed but it was the start of the 2012/2013 season where he went from first team player, to world class.

The arrival of Andre Villas-Boas to the Tottenham dugout saw a knew opportunity for Bale as he thought he could play a greater role in the teams seasons if given a free role which the team was then built around.

This faith was repaid as Bale scored 31 goals that season, breaking Tottenham records along the way and winning PFA's player of the year.

It was then that Real made their move.

Tottenham may be forgiven for forgetting that Real Madrid had the financial power to buy who ever they wanted to and talk of a new contract for Bale only fuelled them more.

In crunch talks with Spurs' Chairman Daniel Levy, Bale made it clear that it was his desire to move to Spain and from then on the deal for him to become the world's most expensive player went ahead.

"I want to be here, weather it be for a penny or for cash, this is where I want to be, this is who I want to play for," Bale said on moving to Spain.

A knew chapter in the soap opera that has been Gareth Bale, and his partnership with Cristiano Ronaldo will be closely watched. The relationship with former spurs player Luka Modric has helped him a lot along with the new coaching staff as Real Madrid goes through a period of transition.

It would come as a big surprise if Bale doesn't have a big future as a Welsh Galactico.

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Topics:
#Football
#Gareth Bale