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Why Gareth Bale Will Stay At Galactico Until The Bitter End

In January 2015, a matter of months after helping Real Madrid to La Decima, a tenth European title as well as scoring the winning goal in the Copa del Rey final, Gareth Bale found himself on the receiving end of discontent within the Santiago Bernabeu. 

It was during a match against Espanyol, and though Real were winning, their wastefulness in front of goal was beginning to frustrate the crowd. There was one moment in particular, with Bale clean through on goal and Ronaldo by his side, when the Welshman chose to shoot instead of pass. It was an understandable decision made in the swiftest of moments, and certainly one his Portuguese teammate would have made as well. Yet when his shot failed to hit the back of the net, Ronaldo jumped up and waved his arms in frustration, encouraging a tidal wave of boos in the Welshman’s direction. This was one moment amongst several during Bale’s time in Madrid which suggests that the fans are yet to warm to him completely.
This reluctance is understandable. Not only is Bale the most expensive player the world has ever seen, but his arrival has coincided with the incredibly consistent form of Cristiano Ronaldo. The price tag itself is enough of a burden, but playing in the shadow of one of the greatest players of all time is enough to affect anyone, no matter the talent. It doesn’t help that Ronaldo is not one to share the limelight. The Portuguese football star has a thoroughly justified selfish streak to his play, meaning that Bale still hasn’t perhaps had the opportunity to shine in a side focused on supplying Ronaldo with chances.
But Ronaldo will probably not be around Real Madrid much longer. And in a recent interview Bale placed a real importance on contributing to the team, which suggests that Real Madrid’s next main man might be very different to their last. And that’s not to say that Bale won’t prove as successful as Ronaldo; that’s something only time will tell. But, having said that, the Welshman does not seem to possess the ruthlessness and self-importance of his current teammate, which is why he could in the end turn out to bring more success to the club, albeit with fewer individual accolades.
Recent news suggests that Bale will be given more responsibility next season, with Ronaldo quite likely to leave the club in the summer. This is great news for the Welshman, who will find his patience rewarded after reportedly turning down interest from Manchester United on more than one occasion since he arrived in Madrid. Bale’s humble and selfless nature is far more suited towards team success than Ronaldo’s incredible ego, so Real Madrid may finally see the best of him in years to come and reap the rewards. Bale’s determination to succeed in Spain has been a long road, but it looks like appreciation, and the mantle of the club’s most important player, is just around the corner.