Having just secured a move from Tottenham which saw through his £85 million world-record transfer free, Gareth Bale came to Madrid with major expectations, and with a new season about to start, he feels a lot more comfortable where he stands right now, the craziness of his transfer-awaiting days behind him.
“It’s a lot easier having a pre-season under your belt instead of waiting at home for a transfer to go through,” he told Sky Sports prior to the UEFA Super Cup final against Sevilla at Cardiff City Stadium.
“I feel in much better shape this season, I feel I can start at a better tempo and performance so, yeah, I’m looking forward to the season ahead.”
In 2013-14, Bale notched 22 goals and 16 assists in 44 total appearances. If these numbers don’t justify his massive price tag, he quelled most doubters when he buried a vital goal against rival Atletico Madrid to put Real ahead by two goals in the Champions League final, essentially finalizing the victory.
However, cash-heavy Real failed to win the 2014 La Liga title, an accolade they believe always belongs to them, as long as Barcelona is quelled.
“For us every season we want to win every trophy we’re in for, no matter what team we’re playing, no matter what trophy we’re playing for, we want to win everything.”
With the star-studded cast of his squad continually growing, particulary with the summer signing of Toni Kroos and James Rodriquez, Bale will have to work to take his talents to the next level. He must develop his already-excellent physical skills further in cohesion with soccer’s cerebral game. Instead of relying on his pure athleticism, the goal for Bale should revolve around his positioning and general feel for the pitch, and a proficient footballer like Bale can strive to meet this mental aspect in a matter of months. Only then can he exist on the same level Cristiano Ronaldo, who flaunts his status as one of the world’s best, year-in, year-out.