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From Leprosy to Superstar: The Resurrection of Gareth Bale

From Leprosy to Superstar: The Resurrection of Gareth Bale

For the second time in its history, Wales is playing in the final of a European football championship. Again Gareth Bale’s team is one of the surprises of the match. Especially for the captain, it was a win – it no longer trusted him.

Gareth Bale has not been so happy and satisfied for so long. With the Welsh national team and their captain winning 2-0 (0-0) against Turkey, the 16th round of the European Football Championship seems inevitable. “If we had been given four points after two games before the match we would have definitely accepted it,” said 31-year-old Aaron Ramsey, who set goals for Connor Roberts: “Now we have a fantastic starting position and we fought very hard for us.”

Wales were already surprised in 2016 when they reached the semi-finals of the European Championships in France in a thrilling and completely unexpected way. Bale was the team’s highest scorer with three goals at the time. However, many do not believe that after five years he will show great performances in the national jersey. Because especially in recent times, the strong attacking player who made it in the 61st minute from the penalty spot was a symbol of what he did.

Instead of making a decisive 2-0 start, Bale chased the ball farther than the goal, which sparked some contact with Uli Honey’s famous miss at least in the 1976 European Championship final in Germany in the night sky of Belgrade. Now, 45 years later in Baku, Bale sent the ball on a journey that ended far away from the goal net. If the game had been lost after that, the Welsh captain’s criticism would have grown immeasurably.

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He runs away from the defense

It may have been a tragic continuation of the fall that once saw the world’s most expensive footballer. Instead of becoming a four-time Champions League winner and an inviolable legend at Real Madrid, he has been accused of sometimes preferring to play golf rather than football around the traditional club. The last highlight came from the 2018 CL final, when he scored two goals for the Matrilinians against Liverpool FC when the score was 1: 1. Nevertheless, sometimes there was talk of a lack of integration news, after all, Pat still does not speak a word of Spanish even after many years in Madrid and wants to fly to Wales instead. In Real, when he was uninjured, he spent some time on the field, but much on the bench and on the grandstand. When it was used, the distinction between speed and livelihood was minimal.

Bale said the missed shot was “not a good feeling” but “completely irrelevant”. This is not a sign of indifference, but an expression of the fact that even such a serious mistake is not a bar considering his outstanding performance. “Gareth really showed character, everyone makes mistakes, but he got used to them and was the man of the game,” said team manager Robert Page. It says “a lot about him as a person. He wears armor for a reason.”

30,000 or more spectators in the Azerbaijani capital, most of whom really wanted to celebrate a Turkish victory, finally applauded. Because Bale opened the scoring again with a deep pass for his teammates, dropping into midfield and planning a Welsh attacking game. When the Turkish defense reacted, the 31-year-old moved to the wing, and with three million people the jersey of the nickname “Dragons” to choose the country seems to have a (re) vitality. Effect on Bale.

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What’s next?

Because in Madrid he was still one of the highest earners, but he lost its sporting relevance for a long time. In a league that pays big, even a move for China was in debate, but meaningless from a sports point of view. After the Corona interruption in the spring of 2020, Bale finally left, as there was no agreement on a final relocation and the attacker was credited with returning to the place where he had once become a star in September: Tottenham Hotspur.

But he could not fulfill his lofty hope. Although he has been on the team for 30 Premier League games, he has only been in the starting line-up ten times, ten times he has stayed on the bench for a full 90 minutes, and in any game he has the kick-off and the final whistle on the field. Eleven goals this season were a good record, qualifying for the table level seventh and third tier Europa League League, but below Spurs claims.

However, with the performances against Turkey, Bale is being recommended for new assignments. Even though there was always the slightest fear that he would be able to reproduce it without the Welsh coat on his chest. It remains to be seen whether he will actually return to Real Madrid. Los Blancos have brought back Carlo Ancelotti, who won the Champions League in 2014, as a great actor with Bale. The Welshman still has a low profile, announcing in early June that he will not release his future plans after the match. Until then, the only thing counting is the European Championship, which seems to be performing as well this time around as Wales did when they first participated in the selection 2016.

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