Cristiano Ronaldo shocked the football world this summer by leaving Real Madrid to join Juventus in a deal which is thought to have cost the Italian club in the region of £100 million. In his 10 year spell with Real Madrid, Ronaldo helped the Spanish giants win the Champions League on four occasions, while he won La Liga in 2012 and 2017.
Real now must plan for life without Ronaldo and that may result in them splashing the cash in the transfer window, where they have been linked with Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Eden Hazard. Although one of those men may come in, the player who could benefit the most from CR7 leaving Madrid is Gareth Bale. The Welshman has unfortunately been stuck behind Ronaldo in the pecking order since he made the move from Tottenham.
Patricia via Twitter
Bale not only reminded Real Madrid fans what they had been missing with his stunning goal in the Champions League final victory against Liverpool but he also caught the eye of all the leading clubs from around Europe who were no doubt knocking on the door to learn more about his availability after the game in Kiev.
It does now look like Bale is staying in Madrid and he will back himself to impress new boss Julen Lopetegui for a slot in the starting XI on a regular basis in the 2018/19 campaign. After finishing 3rd last season, 17 points behind the champions Barcelona, the pressure will be on Los Blancos to do a lot better. The bookmakers have installed them second in the La Liga betting at 6/4 to win the title this season, while Barcelona are the odds-on favourite at 3/4 to retain their crown.
Since arriving in Spain in 2013, Bale has played 189 for Real in all competitions, scoring 88 goals. It has been in the big games, though, that the Welshman has not been trusted to start, particularly under Zinedine Zidane who has now left the club.
At the age of 29, Bale has to be playing regularly as he should be in the peak years of his career. The former Tottenham forward has been a little unlucky with injuries over the last three seasons, therefore, he does need to try and remain fit to prove to the management in Madrid that they already have Ronaldo’s replacement inside their squad.
Cristiano Ronaldo via Twitter
Ronaldo has been such a big personality inside the dressing room at the Spanish club that it was always going to be difficult for Bale to step out of his shadow. CR7 also performed at such a high level for so long, even in his final season in Spain, that the team was effectively picked around the Portuguese man.
It was Bale, though, who stood out in Real Madrid’s last competitive game, the Champions League final, in a stunning second-half performance. If he starts the season at a similar level to that game in Kiev, he is sure to become a big fan’s favourite and he can finally be the star man in the team.