It seemed a lost cause. Real Madrid may have just brought another record-breaking footballer to the club in the form of Gareth Bale, but by October it seemed the La Liga title was an impossible dream, with Barcelona and Atletico Madrid soaring above them and matching each other stride for stride.
But just four months later it is Real who are top of the pile, three points clear of both Barca and their city rivals Atletico, looking down on the rest and hoping it will stay that way.
And Bale has played his part in that as much as anyone, overcoming his early muscular problems to score 10 league goals and provide a further 10 assists in just 17 matches.
It is a remarkable if expected record for a man whose arrival broke the bank last summer, and from seeing his dream of La Liga success seemingly put on hold for at least a year, the former Tottenham Hotspur winger now has the trophy within his grasp.
Another Spurs player has also excelled at the Bernabeu this season, that man being Luka Modric, and the two former favourites of the White Hart Lane faithful are enjoying an outstanding spell that shows no sign of abating.
Whether the return of Champions League action will impact Carlo Ancelotti’s side remains to be seen. But they are now on the verge of a title success that seemed impossible just a few short months ago.
A remarkable run of 13 wins in the 15 league matches that followed Real’s 2-1 defeat at the Nou Camp has seen them leapfrog the victors that day.
And Bale has played a vital role during that spell, scoring nine of his 10 league goals and providing nine of his 10 assists.
In short, Real’s resurgence has seen Bale follow suit, and the former Tottenham man will be one of the key reasons if the La Liga title does return to the Bernabeu in May.
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