Wales’ Gareth Bale is set to postpone his retirement to stay fit for the 2022 World Cup – here’s a look at where he could be headed after leaving Real Madrid.
After years of criticism and controversy surrounding the final stages of his stay in Spain, Gareth Bale has finally left Real Madrid when his contract expires this summer.
The Welshman has struggled for game time under Zinedine Zidane and has managed just 21 league games in the last two seasons.
After nine years with the La Liga giants, Bale will now be looking for a new challenge and his return to Britain looks increasingly likely.
Despite turning 33 next month, his recent exploits with the Wales national team show he is still very capable of playing at a high level and could make a great signing for a number of sides.
With many clubs showing interest in the forward, let’s take a look at where he could end up this summer.
How much did Gareth Bale earn at Real Madrid?
According to Spanish newspaper Marca, Bale was the third-highest earner in Europe in his last season at Madrid – earning £28.8m a year (£554k a week).
Only Neymar and Lionel Messi earn more than Bale, meaning he’s earned more than Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe and Kevin De Bruyne – as well as former Real Madrid team-mate Karim Benzema.
The €100.8m transfer fee paid by Real Madrid for the Wales international is the 10th highest transfer fee for a player in football history.
Statistics & Achievements
Gareth Bale joined Tottenham Hotspur from Southampton in 2007 as an 18-year-old and went on to become one of the greatest players of all time.
The 32-year-old spent six years at White Hart Lane – plus his loan spell last season – and has scored 53 goals and provided a further 22 in 166 Premier League games.
Bale was Premier League Player of the Season in 2012/13 and was named UEFA Team of the Year in 2011 and 2013 and PFA Premier League Team of the Year three times.
Although Bale’s time at the Santiago Bernabéu ended on a bad note, the forward went on to become one of the best players in the world during his prime in Spain.
He’s been a vital part of Los Blancos’ attack up until the last few years, scoring over 100 goals and providing 67 assists in 258 games.
The Welshman’s trophy case is intriguing following his departure from Real Madrid, with three La Liga titles, five Champions League titles, two Spanish Cup wins, three UEFA Super Cups and three FIFA Club World Cups.
Bale was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2022 Birthday Honors and went on to score the only goal in the World Cup play-off final against Ukraine to claim his first World Cup.
Who will Bale sign for next?
Bale has been linked with a number of clubs several Premier League sides have been interested in following his departure from Los Blancos.
Tottenham Hotspur remain heavily linked with a move for their former star, while Newcastle United are another team reportedly planning an ambitious approach.
Surprisingly, Cardiff City are the current favorites to sign Bale.
Though he’s undoubtedly at a much higher level than League Two, the Bluebirds could have the advantage of bringing him back to his hometown at the end of his career.
According to Sky Bet, the current favorites to sign Bale next are…