A matter of time for Gareth Bale’s exit from Real Madrid

Gareth Bale knew how it would be seen back in the Spanish capital, he just didn’t care. Made a scapegoat and a punchline over the past couple years, the Welsh winger has been pushed to the edge at Real Madrid. The provocative flag he waved after Wales triumphant Euro 2020 qualification win over Hungary was just another episode in what has become an unsalvageable relationship.

“Wales. Golf. Madrid,” read the flag held in front of Bale by his Wales teammates as the player himself grinned mischievously. This has prompted an entirely predictable reaction back in Spain. There has been no shortage of faux outrage and condemnation from pundits who are too aware of the audience they are playing to.

Of course, the majority of the reaction has skipped over the nuance of the message Bale sent by waving the flag. It referenced the way the winger has been characterised by the Madrid media in recent times, putting his love for golf ahead of his commitment to his club. It was surely a barb in the direction of such media figures rather than at Real Madrid and their supporters.

Nonetheless, the drama of this week is just another sign that Bale’s exit from Real Madrid is just a matter of time. Of course, the Welshman came close to leaving the Santiago Bernabeu in the summer only for his move to the Chinese Super League to be called off at the last moment. January will surely see him walk out the door for good.

A return to Tottenham has got a lot more likely with the events of this week in North London. Mauricio Pochettino’s sacking has created an almighty disconnect between Spurs’ decision-makers and those in the stands. Daniel Levy will see Bale as a way to get fans back on-side and so there is a scenario in which the Welshman goes back to Tottenham, either on loan or on a permanent deal.

Jose Mourinho would also welcome the addition of a ready-made superstar as Tottenham’s new manager. Indeed, the pieces are falling into place for Bale to return to the Premier League, finally bringing an end to his tumultuous time at Real Madrid. In truth, he should have left before now, but the point of no return has this week been well and truly passed.

How well do you know European Football? Want to challenge the best Spanish Fantasy Managers? Play www.liga-fantasy.com now.

Zidane’s Real Madrid rebuild not just about attracting new ‘Galacticos’

The speculation started swirling almost as soon as Zinedine Zidane walked through the Santiago Bernabeu door again. The Frenchman’s return as Real Madrid manager was a shock, not least because of the way he’d left the club just nine months previously. His relationship with Florentino Perez, it was said, had broken down over direction and transfers, or a lack thereof, so Zidane surely got what he wanted in being lured back.

Indeed, Real Madrid are expected to make big moves in the transfer market this summer. Zidane will be afforded the freedom to mould his team as he likes, with a deal for Porto defender Militao already secured. But other, more illustrious names have been linked – the likes of Eden Hazard, Kylian Mbappe, Neymar etc.


Zidane’s rebuild should be about more than just attracting a new generation of ‘Galacticos,’ though. This was demonstrated by the performance of three players in particular as the Frenchman got off to a winning start in his second stint as Real Madrid manager with victory over Celta Vigo last weekend.

Having been ostracised by previous manager Santiago Solari, Marco Asensio, Gareth Bale and Isco were all handed starts by Zidane and all three repaid that faith, with the latter two scoring. It was a reminder of the under-utilised talent that remains at the Santiago Bernabeu. Neither Santiago nor Julen Lopetegui made the most of that.

Questions remain over Bale. The Welshman’s relationship with Zidane wasn’t the warmest, leading him to make comments after last season’s Champions League final suggesting a move away from Real Madrid was on the cards. Bale only stayed because Zidane left, so the return of the former Ballon d’Or winner rakes up old questions.

Asensio and Isco, on the other hand, were seen as the future of Real Madrid by Zidane in his first spell. Asensio, in particular, flourished under the Frenchman, when he looked like one of the best young players in the European game. Since then, Asensio has lost his way, but his performance against Celta Vigo suggests confidence is flowing back into his game.

It’s certainly true that Real Madrid need rejuvenation. They need a new direction and new players in the transfer market this summer. But they also need to make the most of what they have got. They haven’t done that this season, but Zidane might be the man to change this.

How well do you know European Football? Want to challenge the best Spanish Fantasy Managers? Play www.liga-fantasy.com now.

Is Zidane the right choice for Real Madrid?

Screenshot 2019-03-11 at 19.22.01

No one could’ve predicted a scenario that saw Zinedine Zidane take over the Real Madrid hotseat just 10 months after he left it, but that’s precisely what’s happened in the aftermath of Los Blancos sacking their second coach this season, Santiago Solari.

The reasons could be many and though he’s not short of a euro or two, financial considerations will surely have played a huge part.

A promise from Florentino Perez that certain players will arrive or that Zidane will have a war chest of cash to go out and buy the very best is likely to be another. Continue reading

Madrid surrender two goal lead in final game of campaign


With an exciting La Liga season drawing to a close, we bring the spotlight onto our Game of the Week for one last time.

Our final Game of the Week saw Real Madrid surrender a two goal lead away from home in a thrilling tie at Villarreal that will live long in the memory of those present at Estadio de la Cerámica.

Having tested Fernandez’s handling twice early on, Madrid took the lead on 11 minutes through a driven effort from Gareth Bale – the winger captalising on some sloppy defending to give his side the lead.

The goal marked the Welshman’s 16th in 26 appearances for Los Blancos this season, a respectable return considering the run of injuries that plagued the early months of his season.

Madrid then doubled their lead in the 32nd minute when Marcelo picked up the ball on the left-hand side of the box before finding Cristiano Ronaldo with an outrageous outside of the foot cross, who duly headed home.

The header put the Portuguese striker on 26 goals in 27 games, a record that saw him land on 115 points for the season.

Madrid appeared to be on their way to a comfortable three points at the break but were to once again fall foul of the inconsistencies that have damaged them over much of the season.

Having put pressure on young Luca Zidane’s goal for much of the second half, the Madrid defence was breached on the 70 minute mark when Roger Martinez blasted home what was his first and only goal of the season to breathe life back into the tie.

The game was then blown open just five minutes before time when Samu Castillejo sprung the Madrid offside trap before calmly rounding Luca and sliding the ball into the offside trap.

The young keeper will undoubtedly believe he could have done more in the one-on-one situation but will have been more aggrieved with the manner in which his back line switched off at such a critical moment.

The goal saw Samu end the season on six following what has been a bright campaign that has yielded 50 points.

Despite a late flurry of activity from a stung Madrid side that peaked with a fine Benzema effort that forced a fine save from Fernandez, Madrid were unable to reinstate their lead.

The draw will have been a disappointing end to the domestic campaign for a Madrid side who would have liked to have finished on a high ahead of their prestige match against Liverpool in the Champions League final.

Failure to win in Kiev could see Zidane senior’s position as head coach at the Bernabeu come under considerable threat.

Do you enjoying watching La Liga games and follow it regularly? Prove your knowledge by playing https://liga-fantasy.com now!

La Liga Team of Week 37


Following an exhilarating penultimate round of fixtures in which Barca waved goodbye to the prospect of an unbeaten season, we look at the team of the week to arrive from the fallout of the action. 

Jan Oblak, Atletico Madrid – seven points

The Slovakian goalkeeper has been exceptional between the sticks for Atleti this season, earning plaudits from across the footballing world.

With his side seemingly set to finish in a more than respectable second position, his 22 clean sheets with just 20 goals conceded is a truly excellent record.

José Gayá, Valencia – five points Continue reading

La Liga Team of the Week


In the week that Barcelona won the title, it is of little surprise that Messi hs found a place in our team of the week – but who joins the Argentine?

Norberto Neto, Valencia – seven points

His 32nd start of the campaign was complemented by a 10th clean sheet, to, as Valencia battled out a frustrating 0-0 with Eibar.

The Bats seem set to secure European football however, with Neto playing a valuable role in their campaign. Continue reading

The star La Liga performers over the international weekend


No La Liga action from the week just gone but here are some of the star performers to have emerged from Spain’s premiere division from the international break!

Kaylor Navas, Costa Rica

The Madrid goalkeeper has been put under immense scrutiny over a tepid campaign for Los Blancos but secured a clean sheet for his national side in their 1-0 victory over Scotland.

Continue reading

La vida sin la BBC


Desde 2013, la BBC es el tridente letal del Real Madrid. La ofensiva marcada por Bale, Benzema y Cristiano es una lluvia de goles. Sin embargo, este año no solo no ha coincido, sino que tampoco está marcando la lluvia de goles a los que nos tenía acostumbrado. Los motivos son diversos, pero los tantos ahora los marcan otros.

La sanción liguera a Ronaldo ha supuesto que se haya perdido el inicio del campeonato nacional. Ya ha jugado, pero todavía no ha estrenado casillero. Por su parte, Bale y Benzema han quedado relegados por diversas lesiones. El francés, que lleva casi un mes de baja, apunta a regresar tras el parón de Selecciones. Y el galés no volverá hasta noviembre. En los partidos que han jugado, apenas han marcado tantos y es el peor registro goleador desde que existe la BBC. Continue reading

Guiño de Mou a Bale


Mourinho quiere otro gran fichaje ilusionante para el United esta temporada y Gareth Bale puede ser la pieza que busque. El gales, a pesar de ser un jugador de primer nivel, no ha brillado todo lo esperado en el Bernabéu, y esa es una de las bazas que va a jugar Mou.

Ya le hizo un guiño en el partido de pretemporada que enfrentó a Madrid y United, cuando las cámaras captaron lo que le dijo: «No puedo comprarte porque no hablas», mostrando su claro interés por el jugador y pidiéndole un esfuerzo por su parte. Bale parece no haberse acomodado a la ciudad tras 4 temporadas, apenas habla español y guarda buenos recuerdos de su época en la Premier. Pero, ¿Bale puede irse del Madrid? Es posible, pero no solo por el interés de otros clubes, sino por los propios del conjunto blanco.

El Madrid quiere reforzar su ataque y está obcecado en hacerse con los servicios de Mbappé. El ariete francés es una de las prioridades de Florentino y muy del gusto de Zidane, quién ya trató de ficharl cuando era más joven. A nivel económico, el club tendría que sanear sus arcas, pero con la venta de Morata ya lo habría compensado en gran parte. Sin embargo, a nivel deportivo, si Mbappé llegase al equipo, la BBC se vería comprometida. No hay hueco para todos y eso obligaría a una salida de alguno de sus integrantes, ¿pero quién? Ronaldo es intocable y Zidane quiere a Benzema, pero Bale no cuenta con tanto apoyo porque no ha rendido cuando ha sido la única referencia del tridente. Es decir, que el gales tiene más papeletas de irse.

Pero Mourinho ha vuelto a enviar una indirecta a Bale antes de la Supercopa de Europa, que se disputa hoy. Afirma que si no la juega, será porque el Madrid quiere venderlo y, por tanto, que iría detrás del futbolista. ¿Qué hará el Madrid? No sabemos si saldrá de inicio, pero seguro que juega varios minutos. Zizou no quiere caer en el juego psicológico de su rival. Además, jugar hoy no le impediría disputar la Champions con el United. La prioridad es levantar un título esta noche y, después, terminar de confeccionar la plantilla. Bale puede irse, pero solo lo haría si llega Mbappé. Y, si se diera esa circunstancia, ¿sería el United la única novia del galés?

Sin Bale no Vale

Gareth Bale and Vincent Kompany

Bale se ha lesionado de gravedad, se tiene que someter a una operación de tobillo que le mantendrá alejado de los terrenos de juego durante dos meses. Se trata de uno más de los lesionados que hay en la enfermería blanca, uniéndose así a los actuales Morata, Kroos o Casemiro, y a otros que ya se han recuperado como Modric, Benzema o Ramos; sin ser éstos los únicos.

Por tanto, otro quebradero de cabeza más para Zizou, ¿qué hará el Madrid durante su baja? Los próximos partidos apuntan a que el beneficiado será Lucas Vázquez y no está tan claro el protagonismo que pueda adquirir James. Sin embargo, e independientemente de que el jugador que le supla pueda cumplir o no, el conjunto merengue va a perder en otros aspectos futbolísticos. Especialmente en el juego aéreo, la velocidad y la amplitud.

Juego aéreo

Bale mide 1,83 metros, pero salta a gran altura y remata muy bien de cabeza. Sin ir más lejos, el año pasado la mitad de los tantos ligeros que marcó los consiguió gracias a un testarazo.


Bale sabe abrir espacios y, lo más importante, jugarlos. Eso permite que el equipo se despliegue en ataque, pruebe fortuna por las bandas y ocasione peligro. La amplitud es otra de las características que define al galés.


Pero si hubiera que definir a Gareth en una sola palabra, esa sería «velocidad». Aún resuena en el Bernabéu aquel gol en la final de Copa, pero desde luego que no ha sido el único. El galés es muy rápido con y sin el balón, algo muy importante en una ofensiva y prácticamente letal en un contraataque.

Aún es pronto para determinar plazos más concretos de su lesión, pero el objetivo es que llegue con algo de rodaje a los octavos de la Champions. Mientras tanto, el Madrid tendrá que lidiar con el campeonato liguero, la Copa del Rey y el Mundialito de clubes. Demasiados compromisos en los que se echará de falta a Bale.