As this weekend’s highly-anticipated El Clasico draws nearer, it is also looking like make or break time for Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale as he looks to save his Bernabeu career.
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Booed by his own fans on a number of occasions this season, supposedly unpopular with his team-mates, struggling to meet expectations from his £85m transfer fee – Bale needs a defining moment to make a legacy with the club, as many great players are not given a second chance at a club with standards as high as this.
It’s not that Bale has performed badly for Real, not most of the time, but aside from his stunning solo goal to win the Copa del Rey final against these opponents last season, and his extra-time goal in the Champions League final, he is lacking the big game-changing moments that write you into the history books.
With another Champions League triumph looking highly unlikely for Real this season based on current form, La Liga is their best bet of a trophy, and if the Welshman could turn on the style and bag a goal or two to defeat in-form Barcelona at the Nou Camp, it might be enough to make the world sit up and take notice – let alone the Madrid fans.
Real Madrid are all about glory, and it is games like this that their big-money stars are bought for. While Lionel Messi is the player everyone is raving about at the moment, it would be a huge statement if Bale could steal the show instead on Sunday.
There probably won’t be as big a game as this for Real again all season, in which case there won’t be another opportunity for the former Tottenham Hotspur man to grasp the limelight and show his employers he is deserving of his Galactico tag – Manchester United and Chelsea fans, however, will be hoping he becomes the latest big name ditched by the incredibly picky Spanish giants this summer.