Author: Suren Prasad
Gareth Bale was born in Cardiff, Wales on July 16 1989.
Aged 16, Bale began playing left-back for Southampton in April 2006 and soon became their freekick specialist.
Debuting in May 2006 for Wales, Bale then became the youngest player to score for the nation in October 2006, netting against Slovakia in a Euro 2008 qualifier. Bale is now Wales’ sixth top goalscorer with 18 goals in 50 matches.
Bale was sold to Tottenham Hotspur in May 2007 for a transfer fee of £7 million. He won the Barclays Player of the Month title in April 2010.
In August of season 2010-11, the BBC awarded Bale’s extraordinary volley into the top right-hand corner against Stoke City ‘Goal of the Month’. The Football Association of Wales named him Welsh Player of the Year that September. The following month, Bale struck his first senior hat-trick against Inter Milan in the UEFA Champions League and won BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year in December. He then went on to win the PFA Player of the Year award.
Voted into UEFA Team of the Year in 2011, Bale became the Premier League Player of the Month in January 2012, for the second time.
Bale struck superb goalscoring form in 2012-13 with a hat-trick against Aston Villa on Boxing Day, two direct freekicks — 35 yards and 25 yards — against Olympique Lyonnais in the 2013 Europa League and another 30-yarder against West Ham in the League in February. He won BBC’s Goal of the Month for January and February, February’s Premier League Player of the Month, PFA Players’ Player of the Year in April and the Football Writer’s Association’s Player of the Year Award in May.
In September 2013, Bale was transferred on a six-year deal to Real Madrid, reported by the British press to be a record fee of £85.3 million. His earnings of £300,000/week or £15.6 million per annum, include endorsements that total £5.8 million — major sponsors being Adidas, Lucozade and EA Sports.
His scoring abilities led to the Spanish media calling him “The Cannon”; exemplified by the “perfect hat-trick” (one headed goal and one with either foot) against Real Valladolid in November 2013. In April 2014, Bale won the Copa del Rey (scoring the winner against finalist Barcelona) and helped Real Madrid to a 2014 UEFA Champions League victory in May — becoming the first Welshman to score in a Champions League or European Cup final.
With Real Madrid, Bale won the 2014 UEFA Super Cup beating Sevilla and then scored in yet another final in December 2014 against San Lorenzo for a FIFA Club World Cup victory.
Bale lives with partner Emma Rhys-Jones and their daughter in one of Kaká’s mansions in Madrid.