In six years at Real Madrid, Gareth Bale’s trophy cabinet ranks among the best among club footballers in recent. So far, he has won a total of 13 trophies including four Champions League and three Uefa Super Cups.
But for someone who has shone on the big occasions and played a massive part in helping Real Madrid achieve unprecedented dominance on the European stage, his chapter in Spain is coming to a bitter end.
Bale’s career with the La Liga giants has been affected by his inconsistent form and injury woes but despite constant attempts to break into the playing eleven, he has been frozen out by coach Zinedine Zidane ever since the Frenchman made a comeback in March after announcing a shock exit at the end of last season.
The signs of a fallout were there during Zidane’s final season even before he stepped down. Bale barely played a part in the 2018-’19 season and looked likely to be sold. From once being a regular starter, he was down in the pecking order and failed to make any impact as a substitute.
In what appeared to be his final game for the club that year, Bale came on and scored a brace in the 2018 Champions League final against Liverpool, that included a scintillating overhead bicycle kick. But the situation changed as Zidane unexpectedly announced his departure from the club along with Cristiano Ronaldo.
Despite their fall out became evident during Zidane’s first spell in charge, their relationship turned sour when Zidane rejoined the club. The Welshman played entire 90 minutes in just three of their eleven remaining games of the season, was snubbed on four occasions and was regularly substituted whenever he came on. Here’s a look at Bale’s situation in Madrid took an ugly U-turn:
Bale hints at future exit (May 28, 2018)
“Future? I need to be playing week in, week out and that has not happened this season. I had an injury five, six weeks in but fit ever since. I have to sit down with my agent in the summer and discuss it,” Bale said after his 2018 Champions League heroics against Liverpool.
Zidane questions if Bale is focused at Real Madrid (April 28, 2019)
Zidane offered support to the likes of of Karim Benzema, Marcelo and Raphael Varane when they were struggling in the back end of the 2018-’19 season but refused to provide any clarity on Bale’s future. “I don’t know, you will have to ask him,” the Frenchman said when asked about whether the winger was in his plans.
Bale’s agent responds that he is ‘100 percent’ committed to Real (April 30, 2019)
Despite constant speculation over his future, Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett clarifies that his client wishes to spent the rest of his career with Madrid.
Zidane hints at Bale’s departure in the summer (May 18, 2019)
Before the team’s final league game, Zidane pledges to make wholesome changes to the squad. “It’s my decision. That is clear as water. I’m the coach and I will always do what I want to do. If not, I’ll leave,” he said.
Zidane drops Bale for season’s final league game (May 20, 2019)
Bale is made to watch from the bench and is denied a farewell appearance ahead of his expected departure in the summer as Real Madrid slump to a 0-2 home loss against Betis.
Zidane’s side ended the season having crashed out of the quarter-finals of the Champions League and 19 points behind Barcelona, who finish top of the La Liga table.
Bale excluded from Real Madrid’s preseason squad (July 20, 2019)
Real Madrid leave out the 30-year-old for their exhibition game against Bayern Munich in the United States. Zidane reveals the club is working around a plan to offload Bale although he reveals he has nothing personal against him.
Bale’s agent slams disgrace Zidane (July 21, 2019)
Barnett hits back at Zidane after the Real Madrid boss says the club is planning to sell the Welshman. “He is a disgrace, he shows no respect for a player that has done so much for Real Madrid,” Bale’s agent said.
Zidane says Bale rejected to play for Madrid (July 22, 2019)
The Frenchman clarifies that he left out Bale against Bayern because the former Tottenham Hotspur star declined to play along with denying claims that he disrespected the player.