The numbers behind a remarkable career

The numbers behind a remarkable career

The numbers behind a remarkable career

Gareth Bale announced his retirement on Monday, ending a trophy-filled and eventful career spanning 17 seasons.

Southampton product Bale made a name for himself at Tottenham, but it was nine years at Real Madrid that he really rose to stardom, although he had a turbulent time in the Spanish capital.

Despite playing starring roles in two Champions League finals and winning 16 trophies, Bale’s time in Madrid soured long before he left last June.

The versatile attacker paraded with a banner reading “Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order” in 2019 and it understandably did not go down well with Los Blancos fans.

Playing time remained limited at Los Angeles FC, but Bale scored an extra-time goal in the MLS Cup final against Philadelphia Union, which his team won on penalties.

Yet for all his success at club level, it was arguably with Wales that Bale enjoyed his proudest moments, most notably reaching the Euro 2016 semi-finals.

Bale also played a major role in ending Wales’ 64-year wait to qualify for the World Cup last year, with their group defeat to England turning out to be their last game as a professional.

As the curtain falls on Bale’s playing days at the age of just 33, Stats Perform breaks down the numbers of a remarkable career.

Gareth Bale's playing career

Gareth Bale’s playing career

Bullet played 664 games for club and country Y scored 226 goalsmost of which, as was to be expected, came from Madrid (106).

He also scored 41 times in 111 games for Wales, becoming the record scorer and cap holder for his country in the process.

The Cardiff-born forward has also netted five goals for Southampton and three for LAFC in each final of his career, while 71 in 237 games with Tottenham.

It was his excellent form for Spurs, particularly in the 2012-13 season, that saw Bale make a record change of €100.8 million (£85.1 million) to Madrid.

That would be Bale’s best season in terms of goals, as he scored 21, nine of those from outside the area in the Premier League, a single-season record that still stands.

Gareth Bale scored nine goals from outside the box in the 2012-13 Premier League season

Gareth Bale scored nine goals from outside the box in the 2012-13 Premier League season

Add his four assists to the mix and only Robin van Persie (35) and Luis Suárez (28) played a direct role in more goals than Bale’s 25 during that campaign.

Impressive as Bale was for Spurs, though, he didn’t have any trophy to show for it. All that would soon change at the Santiago Bernabéu.

He’s the only player to score a winning goal in two Champions League finalsdoing it in 2013-14 against Atlético de Madrid and in 2017-18 to break Liverpool’s heart.

Bale scored twice against Liverpool, aided by a horror displayed by Loris Karius, which made him the first substitute to score more than one goal in the same Champions League final.

Those three final goals combined are bettered only by Cristiano Ronaldo (four)of whom it is fair to say that he will be much more remembered by the Madrid fans than Bale.

Gareth Bale has three goals in Champions League finals

Gareth Bale has three goals in Champions League finals

While his involvement in some of Madrid’s triumphs in more recent seasons was limited, Bale at least deserves his place in the club’s folklore.

His 258 games with Los Blancos are more than Luis Figo (245) and Zinedine Zidane (227) didand just below the count of the great Ferenc Puskas of 262.

Also, Bale is one of only 22 players in Madrid’s esteemed history to have reached the 100-goal markhis 106 goals more than Brazilian legend Ronaldo (104) managed.

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