Bale is back!!!

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English side Tottenham Hotspur have confirmed the return of Gareth Bale.

He will wear the number 9 shirt and arrives on a season loan from Real Madrid.

Initially signed as a 17-year-old from Southampton in 2007, Gareth made his name over six years at Spurs before moving to the Bernabeu in the summer of 2013.

His electrifying displays in the Champions League – including a hat-trick against Inter in the San Siro in October, 2010 – made the world sit up and take notice.

He went on to make 203 appearances for Spurs in all competitions, scoring 55 goals, including 26 in a memorable final campaign in 2012/13.

During that time, he was twice named PFA Player of the Year (2011, 2013) and completed the treble of PFA Player/PFA Young Player and Football Writers’ Footballer of the Year in 2013. He was named in the PFA Team of the Year three times in a row, 2010/11, 2011/12 and 2012/13.

Bale departed for Real Madrid for a world-record fee in the summer of 2013. He capped his first season with a goal in the Champions League Final, as Los Blancos beat Atletico Madrid. He’s lifted Europe’s elite trophy four times in seven years in Spain, and scored one of the all-time great Champions League Final goals, a flying overhead kick in a 3-1 win against Liverpool in 2018.

He’s won a host of trophies during his time in Spain, including two La Liga titles, two UEFA Super Cups and three FIFA World Club Cups, and contributed 105 goals in 251 appearances.

A talisman for Wales, Bale now has 85 caps to his name, and is his country’s all-time top goalscorer on 33.

He became Wales’ youngest full international when he made his debut aged 16 years and 315 days in 2006 (a record now held by Liverpool’s Harry Wilson) and spearheaded qualification for a first major tournament since 1958 when Wales made it to the finals of Euro 2016.

Bale scored three times as the Dragons made a dream run to the semi-finals in France. He overtook Ian Rush (28 goals) as his country’s top marksman with goal number 29 in March, 2018.

By Tiyani wa ka Mabasa

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