Gareth Bale is a name many Real Madrid fans have grown frustrated to hear. So evidently clutch and capable of delivering on the biggest stage, but so ambivalent about life in the Spanish capital in recent times, many had taken him as being well past his best. He spent the last season on loan at Tottenham Hotspur, without pulling up many trees.
Gareth Bale's game by numbers vs. #TUR
100% through ball success
10 passes into the box
9 touches in the opp box
5 Big Chances created (!!!)
5 chances created
3 through balls
2 take-ons completed
2 shots on target
More than made up for that penalty miss. 👏 pic.twitter.com/glGlokw8bb
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 16, 2021
Pull up trees is exactly what he did on Wednesday evening in Euro 2020, however. Bale had been accused of almost using Tottenham as a training camp to get himself into fitness and form in time for this summer’s competition, and such an idea has perhaps gained weight tonight. Bale was instrumental as Wales beat Turkey 2-0, assisting both goals (Aaron Ramsey for the first, Connor Roberts for the second) and missing a penalty.
🇹🇷 0-2 🏴 SGÔR TERFYNOL
A tale worthy of the books of the mabinogion.
— Wales 🏴 (@Cymru) June 16, 2021
Many had predicted that Wales would struggle in the partisan atmosphere at Baku, with Azerbaijan closely tied to Turkey culturally. They had drawn the first game of their group, with Switzerland, 1-1, and go into their final game with Italy in a position of real strength. Roberto Mancini’s side play Switzerland this evening.