P. P. San Martín

Three years on, Bale has earned status as Madrid icon

At 27-years old, Gareth Bale finds himself in an exceptional period. He lifted the Undécima with Madrid in May, he was the ‘impact’ player of the European Championships, and he entered the frame for UEFA’s ‘Best Player’ award for 2016. With all this, and surely something which is equal in importance, the Welshman has now gained status as a true global icon, projected more than anything by his distinguished role at Real Madrid. Although the club are treating the player’s rise in prominence with tact as to not incur any changing room grievances with the ‘animal’ that is Cristiano Ronaldo, Bale’s imminent signing of a huge new contract points to a strategic medium-term plan at the Bernabéu.

Gareth Bale of Real Madrid heads the ball past Pablo Hernandez of Celta de Vigo during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and RC Celta de Vigo

Bale now a regular and reliable performer

The Welshman has had the courage to shake off numerous doubts over his capability and quality. His capacity to stand up to the physical (and psychological) demands needed in order to improve everyday as a footballer – one who is now integral to the required high performance of this Real Madrid team – is of merit and something which has seen him withstand the pressure of his exorbitant price tag. In his third season in Spain, Bale smiled like we’d never seen before, transmitted great energy in every game he played, and has overcome the label of being a footballer who turned up every now and again to one who is a regular and reliable performer.

New contract won by doing talking on the pitch 

Three years have passed since Bale was presented at the Bernabéu without knowing a word of Castellano. They say that he’s still learning the language without it being his forte. That won’t be a problem for his contact extension, because he’s earned it by doing his talking on the pitch.