Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale scored a brace in Thursday night’s 2-1 victory over Lyon in the Europa League.
His manager Andre Villas-Boas described his performance as ‘incredible’ after his technique and finishing was demonstrated superbly in two sublime freekicks.
"Incredible," Villas-Boas said. "Not only his all-round game but the ability he has to strike these free-kicks.”
Bale has been Spurs’ best player this season and has been the first name on the teamsheet for at least the last three season now. He has matured into arguable the most well-rounded British talent on offer in the Premier League.
But is there anything he can’t do? What’s missing? He’s physically supreme – his pace, his power, his strength make him almost impossible to catch or shrug off the ball.
His technique and skill is immense – his footwork is on a par with the best in the world, the likes of Robin van Persie, and Cristiano Ronaldo – it’s as if he was made in their image.
As he displayed last night, he’s equally as dangerous as either of them from dead-ball situations. Goalkeepers across the world ought to tremble and stutter at the thought of him placing the ball down within 30 yards of their goal.
Defenders – even of the experience and quality of Maicon – have been completely humiliated by his ability to go past anyone and everyone and, what’s more, he makes it look effortless.
With the ball at his feet Gareth Bale undoubtedly has the world at his feet – there is nothing he can’t do with a football. Some players have the physicality, some the technique, some the mental strength, some the audacity – Bale has it all.
Commentators and pundits alike have been, shall we say, rhythmically admiring him for years now and, if he continues in this form, they will be for many years to come.
I have written pieces in the past questioning whether Tottenham can keep hold of their star player and, whatever happens in the transfer market, Bale will remain a Spurs legend.
I have to admit though, most players of his calibre move to bigger clubs because they want to develop and or win trophies. The way Bale is playing right now, I can’t honestly see an area he needs to develop in and, if he stays at Spurs, they could very well win trophies. There’s no doubt about it.
image: © andybrannan