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Gareth Bale: The man of the finals
At Real Madrid, when you hear of "COMMETH THE HOUR, COMMETH THE MAN", Captain Sergio Ramos comes to mind, as he is known to produce crucial injury time goals for the team. But when you get to see a placard, headline or a chant echoing from the home of the whites, all pointing to "COMMETH THE FINALS, COMMETH THE MAN", no other player but the Welsh Wizard, Gareth Bale should come to mind. The Wales International arrived Real Madrid from Tottenham FC for a club record fee as at that time. He was one of President Florentino Perez's galactico signings. At Tottenham, Bale was the focal point of attack, he was transformed from left back to a winger under Redknapp at Tottenham and he went on to improve his game further. With a rocket of a left foot, electrifying speed, dribbling ability and agility, Gareth Bale shocked and awed the EPL, especially Inter Milan and specifically Maicon at the Uefa Champions League, a match he proved too much to handle for the Brazilian defender. Gareth made Tottenham a team to be recokned with, he was their go-to man in attack and did not fail to deliver as he helped take them to Champions League spots and give the bigger guns a run for their money in the league with constant wonder goals and consistent displays. In the summer of 2013, Perez forked out a world record fee for Gareth Bale after missing out om Neymar to Barcelona. The once skinny Southampton kid arrived Spain to play for the most successful team in club football. He started his career at Real brightly, scoring on his debut against Villarreal. He his great form with Real until injury struck few weeks into the season. Bale was sidelined for few months and the Bernabeu people were beginning to think it was wrong to sign an injury prone player. Not long after Bale's return from injury, he justified his price tag and bought back the belief of the fans by scoring a solo and winning goal against eternal rivals Barcelona in the Copa Del Rey final(Video Below). An out of the field run with the ball pushed behind Barcelona defender Marc Batra from close to the centre line, he ran back into the pitch from the coaching line, raced long metres with the ball towards the Barcelona keeper and slotted the ball in between the keeper's legs to score the winning goal and hand Real Madrid the cup. That explosive solo run and goal against Barcelona was to kick-start Bale's consistent scoring in finals to come for Real Madrid, as he was on hand to head in the rebound after Di Maria's shot was saved by Courtois. That goal from Bale was the second and the huge blow that weakened Atletico Madrid finally in the Uefa Champions League final at Lisbon in 2014.(Video Below) The next final which was the Fifa Club World Cup hosted at Morocco. The final saw Real Madrid win San Lorenzo by 2 goals to zero. Bale was one of the scorers, a beautifully placed ball that rolled underneath the arms of the unfortunate goalie and into the net. He killed off the tie with that goal as the score ended 2-0 in the White's favour.. He scored in the three consecutive finals he played that season. WELSH WHITE WIZARD!(Video Below) The next final Bale played a part in was the Uefa Champions League final against Atletico Madrid again. Although Bale fluffed his chances to put the ball in the back of the net, the match went into penalties. A very emotional situation that saw him cooly convert his penalty that led to the eventual win of the trophy(Video Below) The next big part was another final in the Uefa Champions League against Liverpool FC. As a cameo from the bench, Bale produced an acrobatic finish few minutes after coming on to put Real Madrid ahead after Sadio Mane of Liverpool had drawn them level. Few minutes after scoring that goal, an outside of the 18 yard box shot was assisted by the keeper's howler and it found its way into the net to put them 3-1 up and sealed the opponent's fate. Real Madrid ended up lifting the trophy and Gareth Bale made it possible.(Video below) MAJOR POINTS It goes without doubt that Bale's stay at Real has been plagued by injuries, either to the calf, groin or hamstring. It has been argued that his style of play which demands ultimate athleticism is the reason he is injury prone. A bigger part of this claim is true as the Welsh man has not failed to deliver considering his statistics with the whites. When fit, he barely fails to deliver. The formation and tactics from the coach are the only things stopping the Welsh Wizard from striking his magic wand at any opponent. Another point worthy of note is, Gareth Bale has been known to be a producer of "Killer Strikes". Most of his goals at finals has been the vital goal needed to kill off the match. As a fan of Real Madrid, I hope we continue to see the best of Gareth and hope he extends his stay on the pitch than on the treatment table. THANKS FOR READING.. Note: All images are Google sourced

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