Former Tottenham hero Gareth Bale leads Europe's elite in two key areas

Gareth Bale

Wales have benefited greatly from the influence of former Tottenham Hotspur star Gareth Bale.

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.

Such flak has led to rumours of a return to the Premier League, as per the Mirror, though it has seemingly had little effect on his ability to hit top form with his national team.

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.

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.

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch