Gareth Bale made worldwide headline news in the summer of 2013 when his £85.3 million move to Real Madrid went through, but a recent severe slump in form may leave the Welshman in regret for one primary reason.
The one reason why Gareth Bale was so good at Tottenham Hotspur was because he was their best player undoubtedly. He was scoring wonder goals every week and spurred them onto an FA Cup semi-final, plus Europa League football.
A debut season in the La Liga certainly didn't go unnoticed for the former Southampton academy player with fifteen goals in 27 league games. The statistics for this season haven't been too dissimilar but I would expect a player of Gareth Bale's prowess to be surely pressing on and improving.
We haven't seen that this season, and if anything he has gone backwards in terms of his form. A total of 29 games in the league has seen him score a mere thirteen goals to the disappointment of his many fans.
There is one reason why I think that Gareth Bale is under-performing and that is because of a certain FIFA Ballon d'Or winner, Cristiano Ronaldo. Bale was so good at Tottenham and the 25-year-old was infectious to watch. Nobody could take their eyes off him. But at Real Madrid, all eyes are on Cristiano Ronaldo because the Portuguese-man is regarded as one of the world's best players.
Bale is playing poorly because he thinks that there is nobody to impress, but he is just as important as every single player when he walks out of the tunnel. Who cares what anybody says off the pitch? He's a football player, earning a scandalous money and he isn't playing to the best of his ability in the slightest.
The Italian Horror Story
Real Madrid were well and truly dismantled by Juventus on Tuesday night, and will have to turn around a 2-1 defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu next Wednesday in order to progress to the Champions League finals.
The statistics don't sway in the favour of Madrid, however. The last three Italian sides to have faced Real in a Champions League semi-final have knocked them out.
But there is one more slightly concerning statistic which Gareth Bale will not be too happy about. BBC Sport revealed some figures on Wednesday morning, analysing the Welshman's performance. Results showed that Real Madrid goalkeeper, Iker Casillas, had made more passes (21) and touches (36) than the winger who made 18 passes and 32 touches.
His shots on goal record wasn't too appealing either. None were registered.
Phil Neville was speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live subsequent to the game and quoted "normally he would turn and run straight at the defender, but instead he would turn out and pass it back. That's not the Bale we know."
Players on the sidelines
As Real Madrid are such a big club, they are jam-packed with players waiting to make the starting line-up, and if Bale doesn't start living up to his high profile, he could lose his spot in the team.
Asier Illarramendi and Jese Rodriguez are both waiting patiently on the bench, and if their wide midfield counterpart doesn't start performing to a high standard, their patience may be rewarded with a starting position.
I, along with every other fan of Gareth Bale, want to see the old Bale back - not this scared, controlled young child. I want to see him running at defences, taking free-kicks, making his presence known both against opponents and in the team and scoring some goals. Until he fulfills that, his future in Spain hangs in the balance.
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