Gareth Bale returns to Real Madrid action.
Gareth Bale is back at Real Madrid but the squad number he sported yesterday might be an indication that another season of benchwarming awaits the Wales captain.
Bale was included in the starting line-up as Los Blancos took on AC Milan in a pre-season friendly in Austria and observers were surprised to see him emerge with the number 50 on his back.
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) August 8, 2021
Gareth Bale scuffs penalty.
Marco Asensio wore Bale’s usual number 11 shirt last season while the Welshman was on loan at Tottenham Hotspur and it appears the Spaniard has held on to it for the upcoming campaign, leaving Bale to wear the kind of number that would usually be reserved for an academy product making their debut.
Regardless, Bale put in a decent first half performance for Carlo Ancelotti’s side before being replaced at the break.
He won a penalty and stepped up to take it himself, though in retrospect he probably should have left the spot kick to one of his teammates.
The 32-year-old hit a really weak effort which Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan saved easily and both teams went on to fire blanks as the game ended scoreless.
Gareth Bale wins a penalty for Real Madrid…but then steps up himself and misses the spot kick! 😱
A weak effort and an easy save for Maignan in the Milan goal 🧤 pic.twitter.com/2hHbDRBmIT
— Premier Sports 📺 (@PremierSportsTV) August 8, 2021
All change at Real Madrid.
It was by no means Bale’s most high-profile penalty miss of the summer after he fired one over the bar during Wales’ Euro 2020 group stage win over Turkey in Baku.
Bale’s season-long loan spell at Spurs had appeared to be the beginning of the end of his Real Madrid adventure but the four-time Champions League winner has arrived back at the Bernabeu to a much-changed dressing room.
Zinedine Zidane, who famously didn’t see eye to eye with Bale, is no longer manager and the club have lost another powerful leader in the form of club captain Sergio Ramos who has left for Paris Saint-Germain.
Gaerth Bale and Carlo Ancelotti reunited.
Ramos’ central defensive partner Raphael Varane is set to have a medical at Manchester United this week, while experienced Austrian defender David Alaba has arrived from Bayern Munich.
Bale arrived at Madrid in 2013 at the beginning of Ancelotti’s first spell in charge of the club and they won the Champions League together during their first season, with Bale scoring in the final against city rivals Atletico.
📆 On this day in 2014…
️⚽️ Gareth Bale scored a header in the 110th minute in Real Madrid's 4-1 victory over rivals Atlético Madrid in the Champions League final. pic.twitter.com/lT9ukflAdf
— BBC Sport Wales (@BBCSportWales) May 24, 2020
Ahead of the Euros, Bale spoke about being reunited with the Italian manager, saying: “I know Carlo’s returned and I get on with him really well, and I’m not denying that, but I’m just concentrating on now.
“I’m sure I’ll have a conversation with him at some point and I’ll go from there when that happens.
“As soon as the Euros finishes then I’ll go from there.”