Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale has attempted more dribbles and scored more direct free-kicks than any other player to date during the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.
The former Tottenham Hotspur man traded White Hart Lane for Madrid in the summer of 2013 and experienced a dream debut season, winning both the Copa Del Rey and the Champions League.
This season, however, the Wales international has come in for heavy criticism from the Spanish media after being perceived as a selfish player unwilling to help out defensively.
Chris Coleman’s side currently share top spot in group B with Belgium, two points clear of third-placed Israel, who the Dragons defeated 3-0 last weekend.
It has been a superb team effort from the Welsh, though the real driving force has been the former Spurs idol as he leads the way in Europe with attempted dribbles and goals via direct free-kicks.
42 - Gareth Bale has attempted the most dribbles in Euro 2016 Qualifiers. Motivated. pic.twitter.com/B8MytQCeuA— OptaJose (@OptaJose) marzo 30, 2015
2 - Gareth Bale is the only player to have scored more than one goal from a direct free-kick in the #EURO2016Qualifiers so far. Galactico.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) marzo 28, 2015
Domestically, Bale has still been one Madrid’s leading figures this season, scoring 12 goals and adding a further five assists in 25 La Liga matches.
With a Champions League quarter-final showdown against Atletico Madrid on the horizon, Italian boss Carlo Ancelotti will be hoping the world’s most expensive footballer can maintain his good attacking form.