REAL MADRID

Zidane take note: Gareth Bale has a lethal hidden weapon

Gareth Bale surprised his Wales coach Chris Coleman in the draw against Austria on Thursday with one of his few unseen strengths: "It's the first I've heard of it!"

Gareth Bale, con la selección de Gales.
Heinz-Peter Bader REUTERS

Wales coach Chris Coleman discovered one of Gareth Bale’s few hidden talents with a football on Thursday night that, as of yet, still hasn’t been uncovered at Real Madrid.

Lethal long throw-in 

During the Red Dragons’ 2-2 draw with Austria in Vienna, Wales’ second goal came as a direct result of a Gareth Bale set piece. That wouldn’t seem so unusual if it was a result of a free kick, penalty, or even a corner, but it wasn’t. It was created literally at the hands of the Welshman: from an impressively long throw-in.

It’s an unseen strength of Bale’s that never been utilised before at Real Madrid, or, according to Chris Coleman, in the Wales camp either.

Gareth Bale of Wales throws in a ball during the WC 2018 football qualification match between Austria and Wales in Vienna on October 6, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / JOE KLAMAR

Coleman: "It's the first I've heard of it" 

“I said to Balo I have been with him for four or five years and it was the first I have heard he had a long throw but it has come off,” revealed Coleman. “Sometimes you have to find different ways. I don't think the Austrians expected that from Gareth.”

Indeed perhaps the reason why Bale has been reluctant to show off his ability to throw the ball large distances is because the forward is usually the first one to try and get his lethal head to the ball when it is sent into the danger area.

Wales' Gareth Bale takes a throw in

Not an entirely new skill 

It is a skill, however, that Bale has shown at times before earlier in his career. There is in fact quite a well-known goal that was created by one of his long throws when Tottenham beat Stevenage back in 2012.

Whether it is something Zidane will take note of, or even contemplate using, at Real Madrid remains to be seen.