Zee Media Bureau/Dattaraj Thaly
Lisbon: On signing the dotted line and agreeing to move away Tottenham Hotspur, Gareth Bale knew fully well that he would be the second in command at the Real Madrid. Despite shattering the world record fee of Cristiano Ronaldo, Bale was humble in accepting he the Portuguese was the main man at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Having secured his dream move to wear the iconic white of Madrid, Bale`s season has been plagued by injuries. With 16 assists and 21 goals in 32 appearances, the Welshman had a solid first season at Madrid. He has made crucial contributions in several matches and most definitely is a key part of Carlo Ancelotti`s plans.
Having scored 63 goals in the 2013-14, Ronaldo is still the main man at Real Madrid. But the contribution of Bale in key matches must not be ignored. Even during the Champions League final, Bale scored a crucial goal when the situation was tense at 1-1 during extra time. He repeatedly got into dangerous positions and even had more chances to score than Ronaldo.
Making the transition from the star of a team to a team full of stars is never easy. From the outside it appears that Bale is extremely grounded and his opening day press conference was a good indicator to understand he was here to win and achieve greatness. The Welsh wizard has settled nicely at the club and set a solid foundation to excel in the seasons to come.
Unlike Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo, David Beckham or even Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale isn`t the quintessential "Galactico". They were already massive names in the world football when they signed for Real. Bale on the other had has slowly emerged as a force in world football but he isn`t in the Ronaldo, Messi or Ribery league just yet.
In October 2009, Daily Mail ran a headline that read: "Spurs flop Gareth could Bale out in January as Birmingham boss Alex McLeish eyes £3m defender". Today, the Welshman is a Champions League winner and the most expensive player in world football. This is a great indicator as to where Bale is headed.
At Real Madrid, in years to come, the best managers will help him develop his game. The biggest brands will want him to endorse them. With blistering speed, as he showed against Barcelona in the Copa Del Rey, he is bound to be Real`s tormentor in chief and therefore their future.