Every time Gareth Bale (Cardiff, 29 years old) was placed at the height of Daigo Nishi, his marker on the right side of the Kashima Antlers in the semifinals of the Club World Cup (1-3), the bun that completes her hair, the highest point of the 185 centimeters that make up her figure, appeared a hand above the Japanese. However, in the first duels that they shared on the grass, the Welshman did not manage to transfer that unquestionable physical superiority to the horizontal plane. Just started the game, received a pass from Marcelo who let run, and seeing that Daigo would reach him before him, did not even try to block the punt. Their behavior, derived from a sequence of injuries that have provoked a huge increase in scenarios in which Bale puts their well-being before the risk that football may pose, caused the arms of Solari, knotted to each other until that moment, separated. It was something that, however, only happened on that occasion.
Bale was willing to participate in the semifinals of the Mundialito after surpassing the last trainings without discomfort in the right ankle. Outside the team in Last League match against Rayo Vallecano, his determination was to complete the end of the year to paint a season in which his football expansion remains unknown. Despite the wishes of Madrid for the Welshman to pick up the stripes of Cristiano, the player remains an indecipherable individual who has shown an innate talent to maintain that condition even when his sports performances are with him. The triplet that scored in the semifinals, his first of the season, was an unexpected booty based on his current score: he has 10 goals in 21 games, and is in the second step of the scorers behind Benzema ( eleven). No previous scoring sequence guarantees that their current streak will continue.
Since landing in Chamartín in 2013, Bale has participated in 210 of the 319 that have played in Madrid, completing a total of 15,731 minutes, only 54.6% of the overall count. Of those 109 absences, 68 have been as a direct result of the various injuries he has suffered (ankle, thigh, meniscus, hip, back …), which, however, has led to a striking account: with Bale on the Madrid field has achieved 67.6% of victories, while without Welsh the account rises by 10 points to 77.1%. In his five and a half seasons of white, Bale accredits 98 goals and 54 assists, and his overall average score reaches two and a half hours (one every 159 minutes). To find the most active exercise in Bale, we must go back to the 2014-2015 season, in which it covered the 50 matches (48), its highest number, while the 27 of 2016-2017 remain the minimum.
Despite this asynchrony, the presence of Bale at key moments of the season, especially in the finals of the tournaments, has always rebounded. Of the four Champions that he has, he has been an actor with his goals in three: he scored in extra time against Atlético in 2014, in the 2016 penalty shoot-out again against the rojiblancos, and signed a double to Liverpool in the last edition of 2018. Just as in the only Copa del Rey that shows his record, the 2014, his career against Bartra outside the field culminated with the final 1-2 against Barcelona. Of all the great occasions, only the Super Cups of Spain and Europe remain to him to have written down in all the tournaments in which it has participated with the white t-shirt.
From the left
The suitability of its location on the field has also been a puzzle for the different managers of the bench. Your willingness to start on the right side, or the different episodes of mediapunctismo that they altered Rafa Benítez, they have not served to situate the player in a plot in which to exploit his unquestionable physical and technical skills. With Solari, however, Bale does not seem reluctant to stand on his left side – a natural band in the world standout as a side in Tottenham – ahead of Marcelo. Both players were the most sought after during the game against Kashima with a total of 28 exchanges. The Brazilian gave him two assists, and the Welshman scored in the three shots he made throughout the game. With four centers to the area, he was also the player who made the most shipments.
Substituted after the triplet, applauded by Solari and congratulated by his teammates in the locker room, Bale, a guy apparently cold but transparent when it comes to showing his joy, did not weigh the trophy for best player in the semifinal. These are the only moments in which no other thought stuns his head. And if for that to happen, he must let the first ball he receives pass by, he will continue to do so.