Aug 11, 2014, 5:12 PM EDT
Having just secured a move from Tottenham which saw through his £85 million world-record transfer free, Gareth Bale came to Madrid with major expectations, and with a new season about to start, he feels a lot more comfortable where he stands right now, the craziness of his transfer-awaiting days behind him.
“It’s a lot easier having a pre-season under your belt instead of waiting at home for a transfer to go through,” he told Sky Sports prior to the UEFA Super Cup final against Sevilla at Cardiff City Stadium.
“I feel in much better shape this season, I feel I can start at a better tempo and performance so, yeah, I’m looking forward to the season ahead.”
In 2013-14, Bale notched 22 goals and 16 assists in 44 total appearances. If these numbers don’t justify his massive price tag, he quelled most doubters when he buried a vital goal against rival Atletico Madrid to put Real ahead by two goals in the Champions League final, essentially finalizing the victory.
However, cash-heavy Real failed to win the 2014 La Liga title, an accolade they believe always belongs to them, as long as Barcelona is quelled.
“For us every season we want to win every trophy we’re in for, no matter what team we’re playing, no matter what trophy we’re playing for, we want to win everything.”
With the star-studded cast of his squad continually growing, particulary with the summer signing of Toni Kroos and James Rodriquez, Bale will have to work to take his talents to the next level. He must develop his already-excellent physical skills further in cohesion with soccer’s cerebral game. Instead of relying on his pure athleticism, the goal for Bale should revolve around his positioning and general feel for the pitch, and a proficient footballer like Bale can strive to meet this mental aspect in a matter of months. Only then can he exist on the same level Cristiano Ronaldo, who flaunts his status as one of the world’s best, year-in, year-out.
Jul 5, 2015, 4:45 PM EDT
After having his contract terminated for violence with match security, Emir Spahic will play for Hamburger SV next season.
Jul 5, 2015, 4:03 PM EDT
Despite Sergio Ramos’ transfer being heavily linked to Manchester United, rival Andres Iniesta believes the defender is going nowhere.
Jul 5, 2015, 3:10 PM EDT
The Indian Super League continues to bring in the big names.
Jul 5, 2015, 2:22 PM EDT
After three stints managing the Super Eagles, Stephen Keshi is out once again.
Jul 5, 2015, 1:35 PM EDT
The U.S. defense has been unbreakable, and Japan loves to keep the ball. Something has to give in the final.
Jul 5, 2015, 1:15 PM EDT
After making some tactical changes at the break, Micronesia held Fiji to just 17 second half goals.
Jul 5, 2015, 12:21 PM EDT
After another brutal loss in a major tournament final, Argentina’s Javier Mascherano couldn’t explain what went wrong.
Jul 5, 2015, 11:25 AM EDT
Catch up on all six of Saturday night’s MLS matches, right here.
Jul 5, 2015, 10:27 AM EDT
It may be Sunday, but transfer gossip doesn’t take weekends off.
Jul 5, 2015, 9:30 AM EDT
At 32 years of age, Sampson impressed many by leading England to a third-place finish in the Women’s World Cup.
Jul 5, 2015, 8:34 AM EDT
Sepp’s not going down without a fight, now bringing major political leaders into the mix.
Jul 5, 2015, 7:44 AM EDT
On the Fourth of July, there were fireworks all across Major League Soccer.
Jul 5, 2015, 7:40 AM EDT
Both countries hope that this final will help bring further attention to the women’s game.
Jul 5, 2015, 4:51 AM EDT
Olympic gold medals are great, but this group wants a World Cup title.
Jul 4, 2015, 11:23 PM EDT
On a day where Laura Bassett showed great resolve, England won over many neutrals.
Jul 4, 2015, 10:30 PM EDT
The U.S. hasn’t given up a goal in 513 minutes at this World Cup, heading into the final against Japan.
Jul 4, 2015, 10:00 PM EDT
Kei Kamara -> Ethan Finlay (x2) was all Crew SC needed to jump three places in the Eastern Conference.
Jul 4, 2015, 9:20 PM EDT
Eduaro Vargas and Paolo Guerrero beat all the big names to the 2015 Copa America top scorer’s award.
Jul 4, 2015, 8:00 PM EDT
The solidarity between Japan teammates — and between the two teams contesting the final — is remarkable.
Jul 4, 2015, 7:04 PM EDT
It took 99 years, but Chile are finally champions of South America after defeating Argentina in a penalty shootout.
- Sunday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup: Manchester City ready to spend, Spurs agree for Alderweireld 0
- Sepp Blatter claims French and German presidents influenced World Cup voters 1
- United States, Japan meet in Women’s World Cup final with high hopes back home 2
- Krieger credits Ellis, communication for United States’ defensive success 2
- Chile 0-0 (4-1 PKs) Argentina: Chile’s first Copa America title in 99-year history (video) 3
- Lloyd, Brian prove crucial to United States’ turnaround at Women’s World Cup 2