Gareth Bale’s mounting injuries are proving more costly to Real Madrid with each game he misses.
According to AS English, the Welshman is costing Madrid €34.5 million to play 45 matches a year.
Bale has suffered three injuries already this season - his latest a calf injury that has kept him out of Los Blancos’ past three matches - and 11 overall since he moved to Spain in 2013.
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Madrid paid Tottenham £85m to make Bale the most expensive player in football history but they are not reaping the benefits.
Since he signed for the Spanish giants, Bale has missed 36 per cent of match time, playing 8,626 of a possible 13,410 minutes. This season injuries have kept him out of 54 per cent of total game time.
It means that Madrid are paying €750,000 every game Bale players, a number that is creeping “closer to a million a game” according to AS.
That goal against Barca
There have been some highlights in Bale’s two-and-a-half year spell in the Spanish capital. He won Madrid the 2014 Copa del Rey final with a wonderful individual goal five minutes from time that ranks among his greatest career goals.
One month later he scored the go-ahead goal in the Champions League final as Los Blancos defeated Atletico Madrid 4-1 in extra time.
Helping Madrid beat Barcelona and Atletico in cup finals certainly increased Bale’s popularity among fans.
But, despite impressing in the games he has played this season, the regular injuries are a huge concern.
His return date is unknown - The Sun report he has suffered a setback that will force him to miss next week’s Champions League first-round tie against Roma - and Bale isn’t helping Madrid in their bid to knock Barcelona from the summit of La Liga.