Stroke of genius and 911 madness: Gareth Bale is shocking and ecstatic at the same time
Two assists and a poorly missed penalty. In the game against Turkey, genius and madness were once again close together in Welsh superstar Gareth Bale.
Gareth Bale is undisputedly one of the best footballers in the world. More than 100 million euros are said to have flowed to Tottenham when he moved to Real Madrid in 2013. The now 32-year-old Welshman scored 80 goals for Los Blancos. But for a few years now it has been stuttering in the ingenious gears of the injury-prone offensive artist. In Madrid he only played a minor role under former coach Zinedine Zidane. He complained publicly and was punished by disregard for it by the French. In general, Bale was more recently noticed by his indiscipline than by his football class. Bale is now playing for the second time in his career at Tottenham Hotspurs in the Premier League. But here, too, he remained far below his potential in the past season.
“Not having fun with football”: Boateng and Kuntz criticize Bale
At the European Football Championship, Bale wants to prove it to his critics again. Ex-Schalke Kevin Prince Boateng speculated in the ARD EM studio that Bale no longer enjoyed football. Stefan Kuntz, the successful coach of the U21 boys, didn’t leave the Welsh national hero too good. But he wants to show his critics that he is still one of the best kickers in the world. On the big stage and in the jersey of his home country. In the opening game against Switzerland he led the “dragons” for the first time as captain on the field. It will be a high point in his career, said Bale before the game, which ended somewhat surprisingly 1: 1. Bale remained pale for long stretches.
Apparently he had saved the brilliant moments for the game against Turkey. Because in the second group game, Bale became the man of the evening. He used Aaron Ramsey twice with his magic foot so that he stood alone in front of the Turkish goalkeeper. Ramsey then turned his captain’s third dream pass to make it 1-0. After the break, Bale could have crowned his performance with a goal of his own. But the noble technician failed from the point. Miserably, he put the ball in the style of Uli Hoeneß over the goal towards the grandstand and immediately buried his sweaty face in his hands. And the Welsh national hero’s missed shot almost got punished by the otherwise harmless Turks.
Uefa kürt Bale zum “Star of the Match”
But Bale still had one brilliant moment in the quiver. In stoppage time he nibbled the weak Turkish defenders on the baseline and also put on the 2-0 final score. Even if he was denied his first goal for Wales in almost two years: Uefa deservedly named Bale “Star of the Match” despite the missed penalty. With four points, the door to the round of 16 is now wide open for Bale and his dragons. And for everyone who can’t remember: At the last European Championship five years ago, Wales only failed in the semi-finals against eventual European champions Portugal. With a brilliant Gareth Bale, who scored three goals in France.