gareth bale - fact file

2007 - 2013           defender/midfielder


Born on 16th July 1989 in Cardiff, Wales.

Height : - 1.83m

Weight : -  79.5 kgs

A talented defender, who shot to attention almost from his first match for his first club, Southampton, Bale was targeted by the top Premiership clubs before he had completed half a season, but Tottenham won the signature of the player, who showed great ability with his left foot.

Attended the Eglwys Newydd Primary School and Whitchurch High School in Cardiff.  He was an all-round sportsman playing rugby, hockey and was a distance runner.  At football, he helped his secondary school under-18 team to win the 2005 Cardiff & Vale Senior Cup.  Spotted at the early age of eight by Southampton, Gareth trained at their academy at Bath, while he also played for the Cardiff Civil Service 5-a-side team, usually above his age group.

Making his debut for the Saints at the end of the 2005-06 season, he became the second youngest player for the club at 16 years and 275 days and made his Welsh Under-21 debut, shortly followed by his full debut as a substitute against Trinidad and Tobago in the summer of 2006, when, aged 16 years and 315 days, he became the youngest Welsh international.

The left back made an immediate impact at the start of the 2006-07 season by scoring two stunning long range free-kicks and his marauding runs down the wing, added to his speed in recovering in defensive positions, made him an asset to the on-looking top flight clubs.

With his first full cap coming for Wales against Brazil at White Hart Lane in September 2006 and he became the youngest Welsh international goal-scorer with a strike against Slovakia in a European Championship qualifier on his home debut in Cardiff.

With Southampton being unable to break out of the Championship through the play-offs, Bale was seen as a way of bringing some money in with the club's parachute payments coming to an end and also allowing the player to gain valuable experience playing in a Premiership side.  With Manchester United and Arsenal hovering, Tottenham made a £10 million offer in the January 2007 transfer window, which was knocked back and it looked like he was hanging on for a move to Old Trafford in the summer, but once more Spurs stole a march on the other clubs and snapped up the signing of the Welshman for an initial payment of £5-6 million, with conditional payments which could take the final pay-out up to £10 million for his four year deal.

However, with Southampton struggling to stay afloat financially in 2008, they cashed in on Tottenham buying out a 25% sell on clause in the deal for just £3 million and Tommy Forecast - the young Spurs keeper.

Started his Tottenham career well with a couple of goals and some good raising performances on the left side, but an injury picked up just before Christmas at Newcastle ruled him out for the majority of the rest of the season.  Juande Ramos had just taken over when he got injured, then by the time he was ready to return to playing, Bale found that the Spaniard had gone and Harry Redknapp had taken over.  Gareth got back into the side as the 2008-09 season was coming to it's close and continued his unfortunate record of not being on the winning side in a Spurs league game in his career to that date, even though he had won Cup matches while being in the team.

Injury hit as Wales were about to play a World Cup qualifier in June 2009, with cartilage damage being suffered when playing with his niece in the garden.  His recovery saw him get a place back on the Spurs bench towards the end of 2009, having broken his duck of never being in a winning Tottenham Premier League team, when he came on as a sub in the 5-0 home win over Burnley.

His form at the end of that season was instrumental in Tottenham gaining fourth spot in the Premier League and Champions League football for the first time.  His goals in the home London derby wins against Arsenal and Chelsea were the cherries on the cake and he took his impressive form into the start of 2010-11, with his stunning volley at Stoke winning the BBC TV Match of the Day's Goal of the Month for August and being named as the Welsh Football Association Player of the Year for 2009-10.

Some stunning performances in the Champions League, including his hat-trick at the San Siro v Internazionale and a fine game in the home meeting with the Champions League holders enhanced his reputation and Bale's year reached a peak with the awarding of the PFA Player of the Year for 2011 and coming second in the Sports Writers' Player of the Year.

His 2012-13 season was outstanding with some marvellous performances and even better goals, which led to him being voted as the PFA Player of the Year and also the Young Player of the Year too.  This also attracted a particularly unsavoury interest from Real Madrid, who made public their desire to sign the player against all footballing ethics and Spurs chairman Daniel Levy played hardball with the La Liga side over this, making them cough up a world record fee of £86 million for the player, who left on a six year contract with the Madrid club.

After a period of time settling into the team, Gareth became a regular and linked into the side well, scoring the winning goal in the Spanish Cup final to help Real take the trophy and then scoring in the 4-1 Champions League final win over Atletico Madrid in extra time.  Gareth also scored in the Club World Cup final against San Lorenzo of Argentina to gain a 2-0 win for Real in December 2014.

His second season at the Bernabeu was a little more unsettled, with injury and claims that he was not passing to Cristiano Ronaldo, which set some fans against him.  This led to rumours of his impending departure and all summer 2015, he was linked with a move to Manchester United.


NICKNAME :  Gaz; Bailo

Career Record
Club Signed Fee Debut Apps Goals
Southampton (Academy) 1st July 2005 - - - -
Southampton (professional) July 2006 - 17th April 2006 v Millwall - won 2-0 45 5
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 25th May 2007 £10,000,000 25th August 2007 v Manchester United (away) lost 0-1 - -
Real Madrid (Spain) 1st September 2013 £86,000,000 - - -

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Real Madrid (Spain)
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Wales international

Debut : 27th May 2006  v Trinidad & Tobago (H)
27 full caps;  3 goals  (as of 20.04.2011)
13 Under-21 caps; 3 goals
1 Under-19 cap; 0 goals
4 Under-17 caps; 1 goal
BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year
2005-06 FA Premier Academy League Championship winners medal
2006-07 Football League Young Player of the Year
Voted in PFA Championship Team of the Season 2006-2007
Welsh Football Association Player of the Year 2009-10
PFA Player of the Year 2011 & 2013
PFA Young Player of the Year 2013
Selected in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year 2013
Spanish FA Cup winners medal 2013-2014  (Real Madrid)
Champions League winners medal 2013 -2014  (Real Madrid)
Club World Cup winners medal 2014 (Real Madrid)

Youngest Welsh Player ever - 16 years and 315 days
Youngest Welsh goal-scorer ever - v Slovakia
100th Spurs appearance - 7th December 2010 v FC Twente (Champions League) (away)  drew 3-3


2009  (THFC programme)

Enjoyed Athletics at school, with 1,500m being his events.  Got an A at GCSE in PE and received a school prize for "Services To Sport."

Enjoys getting up on the dance floor, even if he isn't a great dancer.

Loves his iPod, but has a couple of embarrassing Britney Spears tracks on it.

Would love to be able to fly if he could have a special power - especially to avoid traffic jams.

His family and friends are important to him.

Enjoys going to the cinema when he can as he enjoys watching films.

Ryan Giggs was his hero when a youngster and Gareth pretended to be him when playing football in the playground at school.

Hated Italian lessons when he was at school.

Was so left-footed at school that his teach used to make him play one touch and not use his left foot.

Enjoys playing tennis and reckons he is "pretty good."

Couldn't live without chocolate.



What they said about Gareth Bale
George Burley ... 29.06.07 (Daily Mail)

"Gareth has all the attributes to be a world class full-back.

"He can get forward, pass it and cross it second to none. He has taken a big gamble going into the Premiership early in his career but there is no doubt he has the quality to go all the way to be a full-back at the very top end of the game."

Benoit Assou-Ekotto ... on his partnership with Gareth ... 28.11.2010 (THFC programme)

"Of course I enjoy the partnership with Gareth, he is certainly not a lazy man !  When the right back pays against Gareth, he doesn't want to attack too much because Gareth makes him run back all the time, he is tired to get forward and that gives me less work to do ! 
But Gareth gives me help defensively.  If I go forward and try to cross the ball I always know Gareth will move into my position at left back and cover me.  He has played that role before so understands what is required."

Tom Huddlestone ...  on his Gareth's performance against Internazionale at the San Siro  ... 23.10.2010 (THFC programme)

"Gareth gave Maicon a torrid time and they had to bring Cordoba on and push Maicon forward a little bit because he couldn't deal with him, but I don't think Cordoba could either, which shows how good Gareth was playing. 
Gareth has been on fire for a long time to be fair.  He's just a machine, when everyone else is tired around him, he seems to find another couple of levels and while he's extremely fit, he is rapid with it, so it's impossible for defenders to live with him."

on Gareth Bale ...  ("And Still Ricky Villa" autobiography)

"I watched Gareth Bale against the Italians (Internazionale) and he was amazing. He really has great potential and if he continues to play like that people will soon be comparing him with Ronaldo and Messi.  There aren't many people in the world football that can win a match on their own, but Bale is in that category.  It's good for Tottenham as the fans like watching players that can get them off their seat with a magical moment."

Zinedine Zidane ... 30.04.2013 (Daily Mail)

"After the season he has just had - and still being so young of course Gareth Bale is going to be one of the most expensive players in the world if he decides to move.  Tottenham could command £40million, £50m, maybe even £60m for him. It is a lot of money - but there are maybe three or four teams in the world that can pay that sort of transfer fee - and it wont put them off.  They would be getting the best player in Europe this season - and he is at an age where he can still play at the top for another ten years. What I like about him is that he has this electric pace - but also a big footballing brain to go with it. That is very rare.  A player like Bale can be the difference between a big club winning the league or Champions League."

Harry Redknapp ... November 2010 (Hotspur Magazine)

"He's basically a great left-sided player and it suits me to play him wide left. Benoit Assou-Ekotto is a top class left-back so we have a nice balance on that side.
The amount of runs Gareth makes in games and the times he gets the ball across is unbelievable.
Looking back for a similar player I would go for Terry Cooper, who was a great left back yet an average left winger. But Gareth is not an average left winger, he is a fantastic left winger. Terry went on to become one of the best left backs in the world and I believe that if Gareth is going to be the best around, it will be at left back.
How do you live with him ? He can run for 90 minutes, he has got everything – 6' 2”, he's got strength, he can head it, run, dribble, shoot, cross it. He has got the lot really."

... Scott Parker ...  November 2012 (Hotspur magazine)

".Gareth Bale is fantastic. This is possibly the best team that I have been a part of, in terms of the way we are playing and the quality of the players. With someone like Gareth it's easy to see his exceptional ability, someone who can just go and relieve pressure with one run. He can go off on a 50, 60, 70 yards up the field. And Aaron Lennon too. I look at our two wingers and the full-backs, and I'm impressed. Then there's Luka, a fantastic player. Technically he's brilliant and he puts a shift in too. Our full-backs, I wouldn't even class them as full-backs. I'd class them as winger defenders. Both Kyle Walker and Benoit Assou-Ekotto are unbelievable."

... Ledley King ... February 2012 (Hotspur Magazine)

“Gareth Bale is certainly the fastest at the club over a long distance.  Maybe Aaron Lennon is quicker over the first 10-15 yards, but I've never seen anyone who can consistently stay the pace like Gareth.  He can run the length of the pitch at the same high speed which is rare.  Footballers usually work in bursts but Bale's the best athlete I've seen.  If you wanted to construct the perfect player, Gareth would be your template."

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What Gareth Bale said  ...
on getting sent off at the Britannia Stadium against Stoke City in November 2008 ...  27.01.2009 (THFC programme)

"I was sat in the dressing room for most of it (the game).  It was very disappointing for me.  I wasn't even thinking about getting sent off when the penalty was awarded.  When the ref showed me the red card, it was a total shock for me and it didn't help the team either."

on his injuries at THFC ... 27.01.2009 (THFC programme)

"I started off well last season, but the injury took a lot out of me.  I'm still rebuilding.

I wouldn't say it gets to me.  I feel the emotion when I'm playing, but I live my life day to day.  My injury has taught me a lot, especially not to dwell on the past too much.

I know I need to regain m confidence, to keep learning on the training ground and on the pitch and then things will get better for me."

on missing the 2008 League Cup Final ... 27.01.2009 (THFC programme)

"I knew when the lads won the semi-final against Arsenal that I wouldn't be involved at Wembley.  Naturally that was disappointing for me personally.  It was a bit of a mountain to climb.

on the 2009 League Cup semi-final win over Burnley ... 27.01.2009 (THFC programme)

"Everyone knew it was a poor performance. We had that three goal lead from the first leg and threw it away.  It was embarrassing to let such a lead slip and all of us knew that if we didn't get through it would be a massive disappointment to everyone. 

It was more about relied at the end.  When we scored, all the emotions came out and you could see what it meant to us."

on his 2009-2010 season ... 01.05.2010 (THFC programme)

"Obviously, it was a slow start to the season for me.  I had my knee injury in the summer and I didn't really get going until Christmas. I played a few Carling Cup games before then, but at the turn of the year I was given my opportunity and had a run in the team.  I have had to bide my time, work hard in training and wait for my chance.  I've enjoyed every minute of it since and I think I have grown in confidence as a result."

on the 2011 Spurs side ... November 2011 (Hotspur magazine)

"I genuinely feel that we are a better team than last season.  We're still quite a young side, so we're learning and progressing as a team abd as we do that in every game, we're growing in confidence.
There are no doubts in the changing room about us finishing in the top four; we're all confident on that score.
Ade (Emmanuel Adebayor)'s a great character, a bubbly type who gets along with everyone. He's lifted the spirits around the place and on the field, he does what he does so well.  He can play the ball on the floor, in the air, score goals and that's exactly what we need.
He's a good character in the dressing room and we definitely need someone like that.  He's a great addition to our squad and hopefully, he can keep that going.

Scott (Parker)'s a leader, he shows that on the pitch.  He's aggressive, plays with his heart on his sleeve and he rallies us before the game and gets us motivated."

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Season League FA Cup League Cup UEFA Cup
2007-2008 - - - -
2008-2009 - - - -
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