Gareth Bale, the world’s costliest football player, celebrates his 26th birthday today. The Welshman has been widely regarded as one of the best players on the planet. Bale is renowned for his explosive speed and his deadly free-kicks, and possesses a powerful left foot. He has scored some fantastic goals in his illustrious career, both for his clubs and his country.
Today, we look at the most significant moments of Bale’s career, and highlight some of his wonderful performances which made the headlines.
5) Against Sunderland, Premier League 2012-13
Bale scored a 25-yard screamer against Sunderland with his last kick for Tottenham Hotspurs in the final match of the 2012-13 season. Bale had already scored 20 goals in the premier league that season, but this goal was arguably his best for Spurs, and his last one too.
Spurs were sitting on fifth in the premier league, just a point behind Arsenal, who had travelled to Newcastle for their final league game. Spurs hosted Sunderland in their final match, who had already secured their place in 2013-14 premier league. The London side needed a win to have any kind of chance to qualify for the Champions League. And when Arsenal took the lead at Newcastle through Laurent Koscielny, the travelling fans’ chants of ‘One nil to the Arsenal’ were echoed around the White Hart Lane.
Spurs were unlucky as the referee turned their penalty appeals throughout the match, booking Bale for simulation too. The decision was not taken well by the player as well as the manager Andre Villas-Boas, as replays clearly showed that Bale was brought down by a Sunderland defender. Spurs dominated the whole match, but needed a moment of brilliance from their star man Bale to provide the goods.
Bale received the ball on the right side of the pitch in the 89th minute, and with explosive pace cut onto his left foot and fired home a 25-yard curling effort into the top corner. The goal ensured victory for Spurs, but it wasn’t enough for them to qualify for the Champions League, as Arsenal won 1-0 at Newcastle. The goal was the last one for Bale in the Spurs shirt, as he joined Real Madrid on a record transfer fee, reported to be around €100 million.