Review: Gareth Bale’s first season at Real Madrid

Gareth Bale 3

Gareth Bale won two cup competitions and scored in both finals in his first season at Real Madrid, but how do his stats compare to last season’s at Tottenham?

Gareth Bale ended his first season at Real Madrid by etching his name into club folklore with a pivotal goal in his side’s 4-1 victory over city-rivals Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final to secure their 10th European Cup.

Latching onto a parried Angel di Maria shot in extra-time and heading home, he endeared himself further to Los Blancos fans, having scored the winner against Barcelona in the Copa Del Rey final in April.

Bale, who remains the world’s most expensive player, managed 22 goals in 44 appearances this season, compared to 26 in the same number of games in his final campaign in England, where he scored almost a third of all of Tottenham Hotspur’s league goals.

Last season’s superior goal return is perhaps more impressive when you consider that the Spanish outfit have a better chance-creation rate.

This campaign’s transition from big fish in a small pond at Spurs to one of the many stars at Madrid has also seen him integrate well with his teammates.

With 17 assists, Bale has added a new dimension to his play and contributed to 37 goals in total – this eclipses last season’s tally of involvement in 30 goals, including four assists.

It’s easy to forget that the Spanish media was criticising the 24-year-old Wales international earlier in the season when he struggled for fitness. However, Bale progressed superbly over the course of the campaign and did done more than just play understudy to Cristiano Ronaldo - he seized his opportunity with confidence and established himself as a star in the Spanish capital.

If Bale can recapture this season’s form and push on, then he could prove to be Britain’s best ever footballer to have played abroad.

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