Gareth Bale’s manager just came out and said that there is a possibility that Gareth Bale might retire at Real Madrid. He also said that, to him, Ronaldo and Gareth Bale are equal in terms of what they have won for Real Madrid.
In a sense that is true. Gareth Bale scored goals which won Real Madrid the 10nth Champions League crown against a dogged Atletico Madrid and a Copa Del Rey win against the mighty Barcelona in a single season when Ronaldo (through injury or whatever) was not able to influence the team in any way whatsoever.
But that is all in the past. Last season, Gareth Bale came under heavy criticism for not doing enough for Real Madrid and doing a bit too much for Wales.
Sort of the exact opposite situation Messi has with Barcelona and Argentina. People called for his head. Some wanted to trade Gareth Bale with De Gea which obviously would have been a massive mistake on part of Florentino Perez.
About 99 percent of Manchester United fans in a recent poll wanted Manchester United to reject any offers from Real Madrid of a possible swap deal between Gareth Bale and De Gea.
Interestingly enough, 80 percent of Real Madrid fans wanted Real Madrid to not pay a single dime to Manchester United to sign De Gea and instead sign De Gea on a free transfer next season by offering De Gea a better contract.
So I don’t know what’s all the fuss is about regarding the futures of Gareth Bale and De Gea.
As far as Gareth Bale’s manager comments are concerned, having a stable situation at a club in one thing but to assume that stable situation would lead to a point where one could retire at Real Madrid is pure amateurish thinking.
Here are the reasons why Gareth Bale (or anyone else for that matter) will not retire at Real Madrid:
- Gareth Bale’s game and effectiveness on the pitch is too dependant on his speed and agility. These two traits are exactly what the Bernabeu crowd loves.
There is not a sight that is more delightful than a fast player dribbling past two or three defenders and scoring a goal or making an assist.
But as they say, what goes up must come down. Speed and agility are two traits that are not sustainable for long periods of time for any player, in any sport.
No player in the history of football has been successful for a long period of time relying just on speed and agility.
Players who did rely solely on speed and agility ended up burnt out just after four or five years of good exciting football.
The Brazilian Ronaldo, Robinho, Owen are just some of the examples from Real Madrid ranks alone who were not able to sustain a level of play that was required to stay at a club as demanding as Real Madrid.
Whereas players who kept on improving like C.Ronaldo, Messi, Figo, Zidane were able to sustain their level of excellence for longer periods because they shifted their game away from speed (and agility) and made tremendous strides towards technique, consistency and decision making skills.
Gareth Bale has given no indication that he is moving in that direction. Whenever he is in trouble he tries to either run his way out of trouble or shoot his way out of trouble. With age, both of these qualities would diminish.
Gareth Bale would be better off if he works on his ball control, knowledge of the game and shooting technique (rather than shooting power) if he plans on retiring at Real Madrid.
Real Madrid fans are unfairly demanding and when a player cannot excite them to the same levels as before, they get frustrated and call for his head.
Brazilian Ronaldo and Robinho are two cases who had much fanfare when they arrived at the Bernabeu but as soon as they lost their great speed and agility attributes, they were booted out by the management on popular demand.
- Gareth Bale has not achieved the level of consistency that is required to be a regular player at Real Madrid for an extended period.
To stay at Real Madrid with the intention of retiring at the club demands that the player be as consistent as humanly possible. C.Ronaldo has tried very hard and has been successful so far.
But watch the Bernabeu reaction when Ronaldo doesn’t score in ,even as little as, two or more games.
Gareth Bale simply doesn’t have the mental fortitude to not ruminate on his past achievement as is evident by the interview given by his manager.
Reminiscence is a quality that is not tolerated at Real Madrid no matter how good a player is. A player has to remain in the present and live in the moment in order to succeed at Real Madrid for more than a couple of years.
Iker Casillas, Makelele, Figo and Raul are prime examples of players who had given Real Madrid their all for multiple seasons but once they did not perform to the level that was expected of them for just one season, they got booted out with utmost disdain.
The sending off that Casillas received was deplorable. Gareth Bale, right now, does not even come close to Casillas when it comes to loyalty, performance and consistency.
Casillas had been the world’s best goalkeeper for ten years for Real Madrid but one bad season was enough for Real Madrid to axe him.
Gareth Bale would be very lucky if he is able to maintain some level of performance for that long a period.
- Gareth Bale is not Spanish. There is nothing racist about that fact, but at Real Madrid for one reason or another, it matters.
People feel more at ease with someone who is from their own country rather than a complete foreigner.
Though no fault of his own, Gareth Bale is not a born Spanish. Spanish teams pride themselves on having a good indigenous players.
Obviously that is not the deciding factor but it certainly does help a player especially when things are not going in one’s way.
Fans are more tolerant of local born players from their own cities or neighbourhoods than they are of foreign players.
So the prospect of Gareth Bale being able to retire at Real Madrid becomes even bleaker regardless the sort of performances Bale puts out for Real Madrid in future, on account of his nationality alone.
Playing for Real Madrid is a true privilege but to retire at Real Madrid is something that is as close to impossible as it can get.
It would be far more rewarding for Gareth Bale to spend the peak of his career at Real Madrid and then spend his twilight years in USA or wherever he is guaranteed of first team action.
It is difficult to remember a player who retired at Real Madrid except for Zinedine Zidane perhaps. And Zidane was, without doubt, amongst the top five players of all times which means that we should not expect the same kind of sustained consistency from Gareth Bale.