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Thứ Bảy, 12 tháng 9, 2015

Gareth Bale made a decision early in his career that has cost him millions of pounds to date

WHEN Gareth Bale was a teenager, all he wanted to be was a professional football player. While he’s anything but poor, he made a decision all those years ago that has cost him millions of pounds.
Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett said his star client’s call to pledge his allegiance to Wales instead of England has seen him lose the opportunity to add a hefty amount to his bank balance.
The Real Madrid star was eligible to represent England through his grandmother, even though he was born in Cardiff to Welsh parents.
Speaking at the Soccerex Convention in Manchester, Barnett revealed just how hostile a reaction he received when he floated the idea of the young gun one day wearing the Three Lions crest.
“When we first got together when he was 15, we talked about whether he was going to play for England or Wales. I nearly got my head bitten off by his dad, who is fanatically Welsh, and his mum,” said Barnett.
“He could have qualified through his grandmother and I tell you that it has cost him millions and millions of pounds. You can imagine what it would have been like if he were playing for England next summer in the Euros...but he does love playing for Wales.”
Bale has been busy trying to earn the love of Real Madrid supporters.
Bale has been busy trying to earn the love of Real Madrid supporters. Source: AP
Bale recently scored the winning goal for Wales in their clash against Cyprus as they look to qualify for the European Championships for the first time in their history.
They need just one point from their next two group matches to secure a place at the 2016 tournament.
On Bale’s attitude towards playing for his homeland, Barnett said: “It’s an obsession”.
“He loves playing for Wales more than anything in the world.”
Along with Ryan Giggs, Bale is one of Wales’ greatest footballing products and he has forged a successful career in Europe.
He began his journey at Southampton before cementing himself as one of the most valuable players in the English Premier League during his time at Tottenham.
His irresistible form was rewarded when Spanish giants Real Madrid signed the winger in 2013, where he impressed in his debut season despite a stuttering start due to injury, eventually helping the side win the Champions League.
His second season was less profitable, but his agent is adamant that being given a different role by new coach Rafael Benitez has the 26-year-old primed for a special campaign.
“Last season he didn’t get the ball that much and when he did it was slow. By the time he received it, there were already three men on him,” said Barnett.
“Now, he is not playing wide right, he is playing more centrally and that is going to suit him more and give him the sort of freedom he has with Wales. He enjoys that role because he was getting a little frustrated.”
The dynamic midfielder has netted 18 goals in 51 appearances for the national side since debuting in 2006.

Gareth Bale feels 'more involved' this season at Real Madrid under Rafael Benitez

Gareth Bale played his part in Real Madrid's 6-0 demolition of Espanyol and admitted that he returns to his club after international duty these days feeling on top of the world.

After setting up two of Cristiano Ronaldo's five goals and winning a penalty that the Portuguese scored he also said that he now feels more involved under Rafa Benitez than he did last season under Carlo Ancelotti.

On the effect of returning to his club after such stunning international results, Bale said: 'We have worked so hard with Wales over the last six to eight years and that shows in our ranking. Over the last four years we have gone from 117th to tenth. We have got a style of play and a plan in place and we are keeping to that out on the pitch.'

Welsh attacker Gareth Bale played a big role in Real Madrid’s 6-0 away demolition of Espanyol 

Welsh attacker Gareth Bale played a big role in Real Madrid's 6-0 away demolition of Espanyol 

Bale now feels more involved under Rafa Benitez (right) than he did last season under Carlo Ancelotti

Bale now feels more involved under Rafa Benitez (right) than he did last season under Carlo Ancelotti

Some players come back complaining of fatigue after international exploits but there was no such luck for Espanyol as Real Madrid's forward line showed the kind of form it displayed the season before last when they finished up with 99 goals.

Bale crossed from the left for Ronaldo to score in the first half and then from the right for him to do the same in the second period. He was also brought down by Alvaro Gonzalez to win the spot kick that Ronaldo scored from.

On the return to the kind of form shown in his first season he admitted to feeling more involved under coach Rafa Benitez than he did in his second season under Carlo Ancelotti.

He said: 'I feel like I am more involved this year now. The first year you are running off adrenalin from having just signed – you are so happy to be at the club and that drives you on.

'But in the second year I felt a little bit left out wide and not getting so much of the ball. Now I feel involved in the play and I think that is showing in the games that I am able to assist goals and score goals. We are all working hard on the training ground and on the pitch and it's coming together. We just want to score as many goals as we can.'

Bale scored twice agaist Betis in Real Madrid's last game before the international break, and after a goalless draw in their first game they have now won their last two matches with a 11-0 goal average.

Bale set up two of Cristiano Ronaldo's five goals and won a penalty that the Portuguese scored

Bale set up two of Cristiano Ronaldo's five goals and won a penalty that the Portuguese scored

He said: 'The most important thing was to keep winning. We knew there was going to be a big game between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid this weekend and that somebody was bound to drop points so we had to take advantage of that.
'It was a bit strange with the transfer window shutting so late but we have been focused since day one. It was not the greatest result from the first game but we have come back very strong with a 5-0 and a 6-0. We are feeling confident and looking strong.'

Thanks in part to Bale's contribution Ronaldo scored five in the win and went past both Alfredo Di Stefano and Raul as Real Madrid's all-time top scorer in the league. 

Bale (second right) jumps for the ball at the Cornella-El Prat stadium in the Province of Barcelona

Bale (second right) jumps for the ball at the Cornella-El Prat stadium in the Province of Barcelona

Raul had needed 550 games to reach his 228 goals; Ronaldo has now scored 230 goals in just 204 matches.
Of his team-mate's achievement Bale said: 'To break any record held by such great names is, I'm sure, a great honour for him.'

Real have no World Club Cup distraction this season but when asked if he felt Barcelona going to Japan this December to contest that trophy would help Madrid, Bale said: 'We need to concentrate on ourselves and on every single game. Every point matters in this league. If we concentrate on ourselves then hopefully we can take care of business.' 

Bale was brought down by Alvaro Gonzalez to win the spot kick that Ronaldo scored from

Bale was brought down by Alvaro Gonzalez to win the spot kick that Ronaldo scored from.
 
 
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