Welsh wizard Gareth Bale kicked off the new La Liga season with a brace against Real Sociedad, thus continuing the fine form he displayed at the 2016 European Championship finals in France.
Real Madrid forward has enjoyed quite a few successful months mostly so with Wales at the Euro 2016 and is now setting his sights on having even more successful season with his club.
Could this be the year of Gareth Bale?
Real Madrid sure hope it would be as they have done everything in their power to meet all the prerequisites in order to accommodate one of the two biggest stars of the team.
Contract renewals stands as the most important one of those prerequisites and Los Blancos are proud to announce that Gareth Bale will be staying at Santiago Bernabeu for another five years, until 2021.
According to Spanish media outlet Marca, Bale has put pen to paper on a new deal that will see him join two highest club’s earners Ronaldo and Ramos with his annual wages set to hit 10 million euro mark with the new contract.
And with Cristiano Ronaldo’s renewal set to be announced in September, two of the club’s biggest stars begin the new season on equal footing, which wasn’t always the case until now.
Former Tottenham winger had a rough start to his Real Madrid career.
Placed under Cristiano Ronaldo’s giant shadow, the Welsh international struggled to find his place in the team and show what he is capable of when given freedom, confidence and support, which was exactly the case with Wales in France.
Bale lacked all of these things in his first months at Santiago Bernabeu and even began to show a serious lack of self-belief and self-esteem after a couple of disagreements and clashes with Real Madrid’s first star Cristiano Ronaldo. Portuguese star firmly marked his territory and was so protective that his relationship with Bale became borderline aggressive.
As the time went by, Gareth Bale decided to stand up for himself and fight for his place in the team. The struggle for power and domination between Ronaldo and Bale changed last season when Portugal superstar realised himself that he was more likely to score and that is was more likely for Real Madrid to win with Gareth Bale on the pitch.
Twelve straight victories in the closing stages of last season and the Champions League title were the ultimate proof that the newly discovered balance between the two players was more likely to yield tangible results.
Empowered by fantastic Euro 2016 performance with Wales, Gareth Bale is set to be given a new role with the Spanish club that would at the same time make him more of an influence he is with his national team.
The Welshman is now a frontrunner, a leader of the team in Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence. Having missed 15 La Liga games last season, Gareth Bale is entering the new season stronger than ever both physically and mentally.
Bale managed to impose his presence with Cristiano Ronaldo, who now has more respect for his teammate, accepting the fact that Welshman now has a bigger role to play.
With Cristiano Ronaldo sidelined through a knee injury he picked in Euro 2016 final match against France, Gareth Bale is already embracing his chance. Real Sociedad brace was the perfect example, but Gareth Bale does not want to stop there.
Next up for Los Blancos is Celta Vigo in the first home fixture of the new 2016-17 season.
Real Madrid are 1/5 betting odds to emerge victorious and there is no doubt that fans will expect Gareth Bale to lead the line for his team once again.
Champions League holders head into the new campaign looking to get back on La Liga throne, but at the same time hoping to extend their dominance in Europe’s elite competition to 12 titles.
Winning the 2017 final would have a particularly special significance for Gareth Bale though.
Cardiff-born forward could become just the sixth player in history to lift the Champions League or European Cup in their hometown and this statistical piece of information sure is big enough to put a major load on Gareth Bale’s back.
Not big enough to distract him in his mission though, as Gareth Bale is heading into the new season as a new man.