- 5'10" (1.80m)
- 162 lbs (73.4 kg)
- July 16, 1989
Read the latest in our Gareth Bale blog »
2016 / 2017 Spanish Primera División
Bale made his professional debut for Southampton at the tender age of 16 years and 275 days in 2006 and went on to become the world's most expensive player when Real Madrid paid over €100 million to take him from Tottenham in 2013.
After coming through the ranks at Southampton, the Welshman was snapped up for an appearance-related fee of £10 million by Tottenham in May 2007, having just become Wales' youngest ever international against Trinidad and Tobago at just 16 years and 315 days to break Lewin Nyatanga's three-month old record.
The promising left-back enjoyed a superb start to his Spurs career with goals against Fulham, Arsenal and Middlesbrough, but he was unable to get a win while on the pitch and went 24 games for Spurs without a victory. An injured foot ruined his debut campaign and limited him to just 12 appearances in the 2007-08 season.
Injury struck again in 2009 when he required knee surgery but Bale returned to the side in September in an attacking role on the left wing to become a key figure as Tottenham qualified for the Champions League for the first time. He also broke his duck when he came on against Burnley, and picked up his first win as a starter against Fulham shortly afterwards.
In 2010-11, Bale made the breakthrough and was named the PFA Player of the Year by his peers. He continued to shine and signed a new four-year contract in June 2012 before bagging 26 goals in 44 games during what would be his final season at Spurs and also won a host of awards: PFA Players' Player of the Year; PFA Young Player of the Year; FWA Footballer of the Year.
Real Madrid came calling and turned Bale into the world's most expensive player, after a fee of £85.3 million was agreed. The winger immediately took to life in Spain and scored 22 goals in 44 games for the club, helping them to lift the Champions League (La Decima) and Copa del Rey with vital goals.
The FIFA Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup followed in 2014 but, despite continuing to find the net on a regular basis, Bale was made a scapegoat for the club's failure to win any silverware in 2014-15 and was booed by some sections of his own fans.
Strengths: Excellent going forward, with a goal-scoring touch. He can deliver a great cross on the run and he is also a free-kick specialist.
Weaknesses: He struggled with defending in the early years and has issues when his confidence has been knocked.
Career high: He scored key goals as Real Madrid won both the Champions League and Copa del Rey titles in his first season.
Career low: He went 24 games for Spurs without a victory, but he has also been booed at the Bernabeu which isn't good.
Style: Quick, agile, tricky, a winger with an eye for goal and a powerful shot.
Quotes: "He's an amazing, amazing talent and he's after the Ronaldos and Messis of this world and he's getting better and better. He's almost unplayable when he's on his game. He is a genuine world-class player. There's nobody he couldn't play for. He'd improve any team" -- Harry Redknapp.
Trivia: Bale has trademarked his "heart" goal celebration and use his logo on "clothing, footwear and headgear."
|Real Madrid||A - R Sociedad||Aug 21, 2016||La Liga||W 0-3||Started||2||0||3||2||0||2||0||0|
|Wales||A - Portugal||Jul 6, 2016||EC||L 2-0||Started||0||0||5||3||2||1||1||0|
|Wales||H - Belgium||Jul 1, 2016||EC||W 3-1||Started||0||0||2||1||0||1||0||0|
|Wales||H - N Ireland||Jun 25, 2016||EC||W 1-0||Started||0||0||2||1||0||4||0||0|
|Wales||A - Russia||Jun 20, 2016||EC||W 0-3||Sub-Off 82 min||1||0||7||5||0||1||0||0|
|Wales||A - England||Jun 16, 2016||EC||L 2-1||Started||1||0||4||1||1||0||0||0|
|Wales||H - Slovakia||Jun 11, 2016||EC||W 2-1||Started||1||0||5||5||2||2||0||0|
|Wales||A - Sweden||Jun 5, 2016||Int||L 3-0||Sub-On 63 min||0||0||4||0||1||3||0||0|
- A: GoalAssists
- Appear: Appearance
- Comp: Competition
- FC: Fouls Committed
- FS: Fouls Suffered
- G: TotalGoals
- Oppo: Opponent
- RC: Red Cards
- Res: Result
- SG: Shots On Target
- SH: Total Shots
- YC: Yellow Cards