Soccer

“Football is fickle”: Gareth Bale speaks on breaking records, biennial World Cup & Ronaldo’s return

Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale, who netted a recent hat-trick for Wales in the World Cup qualifiers, has thoughts on his clubs’ response and other gossip.

Welsh soccer player and Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale was surprised to learn that Real Madrid had tweeted about him, praising his latest hat-trick following Wales’ win against Belarus in the World Cup qualifiers.

“I don’t read anything,” said the 32-year old. “I didn’t know they said anything to be honest.”

Bale’s volatile relationship with Madrid

It’s not surprising that Bale is a little caught off-guard by the comment considering the criticism he received two years ago from Madrid supporters when he infamously celebrated helping his team make it to the Euro 2020. He had revealed a flag which read, “Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order”. Though Bale had helped the team win two LaLiga titles and four Champions Leagues, he was essentially cut off by former manager Zinedine Zidane. He has since headed back to Spain and started all three of Madrid’s LaLiga games, apparently back in their good graces.

“Football is very fickle. One minute they hate you, one minute they like you. It's one of those things. It's always nice to get nice words said so it can only be a positive I guess.”

Bale on the idea of a biennial World Cup

Bale was not shy in opposing the idea of a biennial World Cup, saying it would lose its "special feeling". The proposals were developed by Fifa’s chief of global football development Arsène Wenger. If successful, it would mean a World Cup or European Championship every summer and the possibility of no clubs playing in October at all, with international qualifiers going on instead. Bale, captain of the Wales team, said “I don’t like every two years, I feel it loses that bit of history. The fact it’s over four years, and it’s a long time until the next one, makes it that bit more prestigious.”

It would seem there is not much to be done about the move, as the majority of Fifa associations support the idea. Bale is not alone in his opposition. Some of Europe’s top clubs are upset that Wenger has not asked the ECA for their opinion, but has briefed L’Équipe and invited former players and coaches to Qatar to consult with him about the idea. ECA is responsible for paying the players’ wages.

Bale on Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to United

Bale, who played with Ronaldo and won four Champions League titles alongside him, is confident that he will have success with Manchester United.

"I'm sure he'll do well. He's proven it before in the Premier League, so he understands the league. He's done everything there is in football. His goalscoring ability is matched by no one else.”

Bale and Ronaldo contributed a lot to Real Madrid’s success in the 2010s and Bale is sure that Ronaldo’s motivation will help the Premier League achieve great things. Ronaldo scored two goals in the game against Ireland last week, one being a last-minute goal to win the game. Not only that, but those two goals were what broke Ali Daei’s previous record of most goals scored for an international team, with a total of 111 for Ronaldo, two more than the Iranian.