Real Madrid In LaLiga Santander 82 have done better
Zidane and Bale
Gareth Bale was once again in the eye of the storm in the first match back in LaLiga Santander.
Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane left the Welshman on the bench against Eibar, and decided to start 19-year-old Brazilian Rodrygo Goes.
It wasn’t until the last half hour that Zidane gave in and put Bale on the pitch, though all that could be seen was a soulless disconnected player. Something which has been seen time and time again.
The truth is that after 28 matchdays in LaLiga Santander, Bale has added just two goals to Real Madrid’s cause.
Those were scored against Villarreal in September and Bale looked a player reborn. Against Celta, Valladolid and the Yellow Submarine he was positive and showed glimpses of his ability.
Today, those flashes have well and truly been extinguished.
Bale hasn’t scored in LaLiga Santander since that match on September 1 at the Estadio de la Ceramica and has since been removed from Zidane’s plan with the relationship between the pair not having softened.
Comparing Bale to the events in the top five European leagues shows a stark decline. This is a player who was once a prolific goalscorer, and has more than 100 goals in a Real Madrid shirt.
In addition, he hasn’t just scored goals, he has scored important, even legendary ones. Deciding the 2014 Copa del Rey, or helping place the 13th Champions League in the Real Madrid trophy cabinet.
It’s for these reasons that it is shocking to see that there are 463 footballers in Europe’s elite that have scored more than the Welshman this season.
Players such as Diego Costa moved one ahead of Bale after his goals against Athletic Club, while others like Robert Lewandowski are streets ahead with 30 goals in 28 Bundesliga games.
Focussing just on LaLiga Santander, there are 82 players who have more than two goals. In the Real Madrid squad, five of Bale’s teammates are regularly finding the net – Karim Benzema, Sergio Ramos, Toni Kroos, Casemiro and Luka Modric – while there are others that he is on par with – Raphael Varane and Fede Valverde – who have no goalscoring responsibility.
For all the records and legendary moments, as well as the salary commanded by Bale, none of Europe’s other great sides have a similar case.
Bale’s current form is not worthy of the footballer that he is, nor of what a team like Real Madrid demand of its stars. And he is one. Or at least was.