Gareth Bale enjoyed a pretty successful loan spell at Tottenham Hotspur in 2020/21.
The Welshman may have struggled for consistent game time under both Jose Mourinho and Ryan Mason, but he still managed to score 16 goals in his 34 appearances across all competitions.
Bale rippled the back of the net 11 times in Premier League action, averaging a goal every 83 minutes – the best record of any player in the division.
On his day, the 31-year-old is still one of the best footballers on the planet and one who defenders will be wary of facing at this summer’s Euro 2020 tournament.
However, the continental event could be the last time we see Bale on a football pitch in a professional setting.
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While it’s been apparent in recent years that Bale has fallen out of love with football, the news is still a bit of a shock, especially after Carlo Ancelotti’s return to Real Madrid was confirmed earlier in the week.
Bale played some of the best football of his illustrious career under the Italian manager’s rule, the pair winning the Champions League together in 2014.
But while the Welshman and Ancelotti have a pretty good relationship, Real Madrid wouldn’t stand in Bale’s way if he were to decide to hang up his boots.
The Spanish club would save around €22 million in wages if Bale were to retire from the sport a year before the end of his current contract.
If he does decide to quit the game after Euro 2020, the Welsh forward needs to be remembered as a Real Madrid legend.
Bale won four Champions League trophies at the club and he scored in two finals – including that iconic bicycle kick in Kiev versus Liverpool.
His personal statistics at Los Blancos are also pretty phenomenal. In his 251 appearances, Bale scored 105 goals and contributed 68 assists, a record that any world-class attacker would be incredibly proud of.
It’ll be a shame to see you go, Gareth, but if you think it’s best, then thanks for the memories and hopefully you can go out with a bang at Euro 2020!