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Gareth Bale

Gareth Frank Bale (born 16 July 1989) is a Welsh association football who plays for English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur F.C. and the Wales national football team.

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Gareth Bale biography


Gareth Frank Bale (born 16 July 1989) is a Welsh association football who plays for English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur F.C. and the Wales national football team.

Bale began Gareth Bale professional career at Southampton F.C., playing at left back, earning acclaim as a direct free kick specialist. Since transferring to Tottenham Hotspur F.C. in 2007, managerial and tactical shifts have seen Gareth Bale transform into a more offensively-oriented player. Recently, Bale has played an integral role in Tottenham's success domestically and in the UEFA Champions League.

Early life

Bale was born in Cardiff to parents Frank, a school caretaker, and Debbie, an operations manager; Gareth Bale attended Eglwys Newydd Primary School at Whitchurch, Cardiff. Gareth Bale is the nephew of former Cardiff City F.C. footballer Chris Pike. It was while at this school Gareth Bale first came to the attention of Southampton F.C. at nine years old, when Gareth Bale was playing in a six-a-side tournament with Gareth Bale first club, Cardiff Civil Service Football Club. Growing up Gareth Bale football hero was fellow Welshman and Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs.

Bale then attended Whitchurch High School in Cardiff. There, as well as football, Gareth Bale played rugby and hockey and athletics. As a 14 year old Gareth Bale says that Gareth Bale ran the 100 metre sprint in 11.4 seconds.

Club career

Southampton

On 17 April 2006, at the age of 16 years and 275 days, Bale became the second youngest player ever to play for Southampton (after Theo Walcott, who was 132 days younger) when Gareth Bale made Gareth Bale debut in the Saints' 2-0 victory against Millwall F.C.. On 6 August, Bale scored Gareth Bale first league goal, a free kick, to level the score at 1–1 against Derby County F.C.. The final score at Pride Park Stadium was 2–2.

Gareth Bale scored again, at St Mary's Stadium, against Coventry City F.C. in the team's second game of the 2006–07 season with another free kick. Bale further developed Gareth Bale reputation as a free kick specialist when Gareth Bale struck the post from one against West Bromwich Albion F.C.. By 16 December 2006, Bale's goal count had risen to five, thanks to a late equaliser against Sunderland A.F.C. and free-kicks away to Hull City A.F.C. and at home to Norwich City F.C..

In December 2006, Gareth Bale won the Carwyn James Award for the BBC Cymru Wales Young Sports Personality of the Year, and was named the Football League Young Player of the Year on 4 March 2007. This capped what was described in the local press as an "incredible" first full season as a professional footballer in which Gareth Bale was one of the Saints' "most creative players even (though operating) from the left-back position whilst Gareth Bale defending improved immeasurably as the season progressed."

Gareth Bale final game for Southampton was in the first leg of the Football League Championship Play-Offs 2007 semi-final against Derby County F.C. on 12 May 2007. Bale suffered an injury during the second half, preventing Gareth Bale from appearing in the second leg. In total, Gareth Bale made 45 appearances for Southampton, scoring five goals.

Tottenham Hotspur

On 25 May 2007, Bale signed a four-year deal with Tottenham Hotspur F.C. with Spurs paying an initial £5 million for Bale, potentially rising to £10 million based on appearances and success. However, Tottenham paid Southampton an early settlement payment of £2 million in 2008 to reduce the final fee to £7 million and allow the Saints the immediate cash that they desperately needed.

2007–08

Gareth Bale played Gareth Bale first game for Spurs in a friendly against St Patrick's Athletic F.C. on 12 July 2007, but was substituted on the 80th minute with a minor dead-leg. Gareth Bale made Gareth Bale competitive debut for Tottenham Hotspur on 26 August away against Manchester United F.C.. In just Gareth Bale second Spurs appearance, Gareth Bale scored Gareth Bale first goal for Tottenham in the 3–3 draw with Fulham F.C. on 1 September when Gareth Bale latched on to Robbie Keane's flick, charged down the left flank unopposed and coolly slotted past goalkeeper Antti Niemi (footballer). Bale went on to score again against Arsenal in the North London Derby, scoring a free kick inside the near post. Gareth Bale then scored in the League Cup home tie against Middlesbrough F.C., making it three goals in four starts for the then 18-year-old. Gareth Bale also set up Spurs' goal against Anorthosis Famagusta FC in the UEFA Europa League.

Bale was substituted after sustaining an injury resulting from a tackle from Fabrice Muamba in the league fixture against Birmingham City F.C. on 2 December 2007. A scan revealed that Bale had suffered ligament damage to Gareth Bale right ankle, consigning Gareth Bale to an extended period on the sidelines. Spurs' sporting director Damien Comolli announced in February 2008 that Bale would miss the rest of the season through injury.

2008–09

Gareth Bale signed a new four-year deal with the club in August 2008. Bale was given the number 3 shirt for the 2008-09 season, which left previous number 3 Lee Young-Pyo without a squad number. After some poor performances, Bale was dropped in favour of Benoît Assou-Ekotto and the latter remained first-choice for most of the season.

2009–10

After playing a record 24 Premier League games for Spurs without being on the winning side, Bale's first ever involvement in a Premier League victory came against Burnley on 26 September 2009 – more than two years after signing for Spurs – when Gareth Bale came on as an 85th minute substitute.

In June 2009, Bale underwent surgery for a knee injury, ruling Gareth Bale out for over two months. Gareth Bale missed pre-season matches and it was projected that Gareth Bale would miss the first few weeks of the 2009–10 season. On 26 September, Gareth Bale made Gareth Bale comeback as a substitute in the Spurs' 5–0 thrashing of Burnley F.C.. However, Gareth Bale endured a frustrating time on the bench as Benoît Assou-Ekotto was in good form. When Assou-Ekotto was sidelined with an injury, manager Harry Redknapp decided to give Bale a chance and Gareth Bale impressed in the Spurs' 2009-10 FA Cup third-round 4–0 win over Peterborough United F.C.. Gareth Bale finally tasted victory for the first time as a starter in a league game in the 2–0 win over London rivals Fulham F.C. on 26 January 2010. Gareth Bale good form continued and Gareth Bale was named Player of the Round after helping the Spurs to a 3–1 win in the sixth round replay of the FA Cup against Fulham. In April 2010, Bale scored another goal against Arsenal after a pass from Defoe Gareth Bale tapped the ball past the Arsenal keeper. Three days later, Bale slammed in Tottenham's second with Gareth Bale weaker right foot in a 2–1 victory over leaders Chelsea and was named Man of the Match. Gareth Bale was named Premier League Player of the Month for April. Gareth Bale signed a new four-year contract at White Hart Lane on 7 May 2010 as a reward for helping the club reach the UEFA Champions League qualification place.

2010–11

On 21 August, Bale scored twice in a 2–1 win at Stoke City F.C., the second of which was a head-high volley into the top right hand corner of the goal. On 25 August, Bale set up all four goals to help Spurs overcome BSC Young Boys 4–0 (6–3 agg.) in a UEFA Champions League 2010–11 UEFA Champions League qualifying phase and play-off round Play-off round at White Hart Lane. Although Assou-Ekotto had already returned from injury, Bale continued Gareth Bale good form and cemented Gareth Bale place in the starting eleven, moving forward to left wing to accommodate Assou-Ekotto at left back. On 29 September 2010, Bale scored Gareth Bale first Champions League goal for Tottenham in a 4–1 home win against Dutch champions FC Twente in their second game of the group stages. In recognition, Gareth Bale was named Welsh Player of the Year by the Football Association of Wales. On 20 October, Bale scored Gareth Bale first senior Hat-trick Association football against 2009-10 UEFA Champions League F.C. Internazionale Milano at the San Siro in the Champions League. Tottenham lost the match 4–3, having been 4–0 down inside the first 35 minutes and playing with ten men for over 80 minutes of the match after goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes had been sent off in the eighth minute for a professional foul on Inter's Jonathan Biabiany. In the return match at White Hart Lane on 2 November, Bale provided a man of the match performance, setting up goals for Peter Crouch and Roman Pavlyuchenko to earn Spurs a memorable 3–1 win.

On 4 November, Bale stated that Gareth Bale intended to remain at Tottenham for the remainder of Gareth Bale recently-signed four-year contract, despite reported interest from other clubs. On 19 March 2011, Tottenham announced Bale had extended Gareth Bale stay at the club until 2015.

On 17 April 2011, Bale was honoured with the PFA Player of the Year award, as voted for by Gareth Bale peers.. Amidst rumours linking Gareth Bale with Chelsea , Barcelona and a host of clubs, Bale decided to stay at White Hart Lane.

2011–12

Gareth Bale scored Gareth Bale first goal of the season on 24 September 2011, in an away game against Wigan Athletic F.C.. The game ended in a 2–1 victory for Tottenham Hotspur F.C.. Gareth Bale added Gareth Bale second and third goals of the season on 30 October with two goals against Queens Park Rangers F.C. in a 3–1 home win. Gareth Bale continued Gareth Bale good form with the first goal in a 3–1 victory over Fulham F.C. the following week, whilst also setting up Aaron Lennon who made it 2–0 on the stroke of half time. The first goal against Fulham was later ruled by the "dubious goals committee" to be an own goal by Chris Baird.

On 3 December, Bale scored the first goal in Tottenham's 3–0 victory over Bolton Wanderers F.C.. Gareth Bale marked the goal with a tribute to Gary Speed by holding up Gareth Bale left boot, with "R.I.P Gary Speed" stitched on it, in front of the Bolton fans. On 27 December, Bale scored twice to give Tottenham a 2–0 win against Norwich City F.C.. On 5 January 2012, Bale was announced as one of the players voted into the UEFA Team of the Year 2011. Gareth Bale scored Gareth Bale third brace of the season as Gareth Bale scored twice against Wigan on 31 January to take Gareth Bale tally to ten goals for the season. In January 2012 Gareth Bale was announced as the January Premier League Player of the Month for the second time in Gareth Bale career, after three goals and two assists in the Premier League for the month.

Style of play

Bale originally started out playing as left back, but because of Gareth Bale great pace and dribbling skills, Gareth Bale was moved forward to play as a left winger.

On 2 November 2010, after a 2010–11 UEFA Champions League group stage group stage match against Internazionale, teammate Rafael van der Vaart said, "Everyone is scared of Gareth Bale Bale. Maicon Douglas Sisenando is one of the best defenders in the world, and he's killed him."

In a report of the same match, Spanish newspaper El Mundo (Spain) said: Bale combines the height and build of an 800-metre runner like Steve Ovett with the acceleration and directness of a Rugby football winger like Bryan Habana. And, when Gareth Bale gets to the byline, Gareth Bale delivers curling crosses like a Brazilian. Big words? Yes, but that's what Bale is like – easily the greatest sensation in the opening month and a half of 2010–11 UEFA Champions League group stage. Ask Maicon what Gareth Bale thinks after the two exhibitions Bale turned in against Inter. Yesterday Gareth Bale left Maicon for dead and then a wily old fox like Lúcio was left in Gareth Bale wake like someone trying to follow the vapour trail of an aeroplane. Three goals and two assists — against the European champions. Gareth Bale performances have been stunning.

Following Bale's two goals against Norwich City F.C. on 27 December 2011, manager Harry Redknapp said:If we sell him, we've had it haven't we? It would only be a Barcelona, a Man City or a Real Madrid who would be able to pay for him. He's an amazing player. He's got everything, there's not a weakness in Gareth Bale make-up. Gareth Bale can head the ball, he's as strong as an ox, Gareth Bale can run, dribble and shoot. Most important of all, he's a smashing lad.

International career

Wales

Bale was selected by Wales national football team at the end of the 2005–06 season and made Gareth Bale international debut on 27 May 2006. Gareth Bale first appeared as a substitute in a 2–1 win over Trinidad and Tobago national football team, making Gareth Bale the youngest ever player to play for Wales. Bale, who was just 16 years and 315 days, assisted the winning goal scored by Robert Earnshaw.

Brian Flynn commented that Bale was potentially a future star of the game, comparing Gareth Bale technical ability to that of Ryan Giggs. On 7 October 2006, Bale became the youngest player ever to score a goal for the full Welsh national team in the Euro 2008 qualification match against Slovakia national football team with a trademark free kick. Gareth Bale scored Gareth Bale second goal for Wales in a 3–0 win over San Marino national football team on 28 March 2007.

Bale was eligible to play for England national football team through Gareth Bale grandmother, but Gareth Bale stated in 2007 that:

"It is an honour to play for Wales... Nobody ever got in touch with me personally from England, only through my agent."

After a long injury lay-off, Gareth Bale returned and started in the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification (UEFA) against Finland national football team on 10 October 2009. On 14 October, Gareth Bale played a part in Wales' final World Cup qualifier by setting up David Vaughan (footballer) to score the opening goal against Liechtenstein national football team and won the free kick that led to the second, Aaron Ramsey's first at senior level.

In December 2010, Bale was awarded the BBC Cymru Sports Personality of the Year trophy.

Bale was called up to the Wales national football team squad for the first time under Gary Speed to play against Australian national football team on 10 August 2011. Gareth Bale previously missed the last four internationals with injury.

Great Britain

Bale, who meets the age criteria to play in the Football at the 2012 Summer Olympics – Men's tournament, said Gareth Bale would "love to play in the Olympics" for the Great Britain and Northern Ireland Olympic football team, in defiance of the Welsh FA. On 28 October 2011 Bale became the first player to be photographed modelling the British 2012 London Olympics football supporters' shirt. In response, Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford said: "Our position remains unchanged. We are not for Team GB. Gareth can make Gareth Bale own choices and make Gareth Bale own decisions. But we are not going to stop anyone playing." On behalf of Gareth Bale a spokesman said "while Gareth Bale is 100% Welsh, Gareth Bale is also British".

International goals


Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gareth_Bale

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