REAL MADRID

Gareth Bale shows pride after six years at 'great' Real Madrid

The Welshman was being shown the door just weeks ago by Zinedine Zidane, but it would appear that he's making the right noises on his six-year anniversary.

Gareth Bale, autor de los dos goles del Real Madrid ante el Villarreal
David Ramos Getty Images

Gareth Bale had been given his marching orders at Real Madrid. Zinedine Zidane had tried to avoid the question for a number of weeks following his return to the Bernabéu dugout in March, then, as the season closed, made it as clear as possible: "If he leaves tomorrow, it's better for everyone."

Bale's potential turnaround

With few clubs in world football able, and willing, to pay his mammoth salary demands, it looked as though it was a straight choice between a move to the Chinese Super League or remaining in the Spanish capital and picking up playing minutes from time to time. How things appear to have changed.

With injuries plaguing Zidane's new summer recruits, Bale was given a chance in the opening day fixture away to Celta Vigo. A solid performance in the 1-3 victory, including a neatly provided assist, saw him retain his place for the visit of Valladolid. A point may not have been the desired result but Bale showed enough again that he would play alongside Karim Benzema once again in matchday three, in Villarreal, where his two goals rescued another point.

Monday 2 September marks six years since the Welsh star arrived at the Santiago Bernabéu, and the club took to Twitter to reflect on this fact, and the memories picked up along the way. Winning 14 titles, scoring in four finals, and 104 goals in his 234 matches in the famous white shirt.

Bale shared the club's tweet with a message of his own: "Proud to play for this great club." There is a feeling building that the winger may be performing an incredible turnaround in just a short space of time after standing his ground on the move. The fickle nature of football, however...