Real Madrid and Liverpool will be facing off in the 2022 Champions League final once again to determine who is Europe’s best football club; and the inclusion of Gareth Bale will revive Liverpool fans’ nightmares as he last sunk the club to clinch the title in 2018.
Gareth Bale was once touted to be the next big thing in soccer when he joined Real Madrid in 2013 for $132.9 million, making him the most expensive signing in the sport at the time. He previously played for Tottenham Hotspurs, climbing the ranks from defender to forward throughout his stint. After an inspiring 2012-2013 season, Madrid moved to secure his signing.
In his first season, Bale was an instrumental figure in bringing back the Champions League title back to Madrid as he scored the second goal of the night. He also used his explosive pace to single-handedly win the Copa del Rey. The Welshman also assisted the goal that secured the first of their three-year Champions League run under Zinedine Zidane. Their last win was against Liverpool, where Bale was the man of the match with two impressive goals to showcase his abilities.
The upcoming rematch against Liverpool marks Gareth Bale’s final game as a Real Madrid player with his contract set to expire at the end of the season.
Throughout his time in Madrid, Bale was plagued with injuries, which many believe hindered his potential. Additionally, the Spanish media hounded the forward for his hesitancy to speak the language during his stay in the Spanish capital. They were also quick to point fingers on the Welshman’s love for golf. Spanish media also criticized his fitness issues, often appearing unable to play for the club while playing a starring role in Wales’ international game Bale hit back on Twitter and called out Marca for comparing him to a parasite.
Despite the issues he faced during his run, Gareth Bale helped secure 13 trophies, including the Spanish league thrice, the FIFA Club World Cup four times, the Spanish Cup, the UEFA Supercup, the Spanish Super Cup, and the Champions League four times, possibly five.