Gareth Bale: The Man to Lead Real Madrid to Champions League Glory?

Gareth Bale thought that his season might be over when he went down with a nasty-looking injury back in November, but the Real Madrid medical team have done incredibly well to get the Welshman back to full fitness within the space of just three months.

Since returning to first team action, Bale has been heavily involved; scoring two goals inside one week before he was sent off in Real’s 3-3 draw with Las Palmas at the start of March. It would be fair to state that Bale has been at the centre of attention in recent times, but he can get back down to business now that things appear to have settled down.

When Bale is fully fit and in form, he is world class. On his day, you would fancy the Wales star to skip past two or three defenders before firing an unstoppable effort into the goal – that is how good he can be. After all, we witnessed first-hand just how effective he can be for Wales at the European Championships in France last summer…

Cristiano Ronaldo has been Real’s main man since joining from Manchester United in 2009, but Bale could be set to take over the mantle in the not-so-distant future. The Welshman was key to Madrid’s Champions League triumph over Atletico Madrid last year and Zinedine Zidane will be expecting more from Bale throughout the remainder of the campaign.

At 27 years old, Bale is in the prime of his career and the Welshman will be looking to find his best form in the coming months. Prior to suffering that injury back in November, Bale had notched seven goals in 12 appearances for Real – an example of the kind of run that he is capable of going on when he hits stride.

Real have been supreme in the Champions League so far this season and they showed great mental strength to defeat Napoli despite struggling to cope with the Italian side in the first half. With Bale getting back to his best and the likes of Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Luka Modric in fine form, it would take a brave man to back against Zidane’s men as they bid to defend their crown.

In fact, plenty of punters will fancy Real to go all the way and win at the Principality Stadium, previously known as the Millennium Stadium, in Cardiff – which happens to be Bale’s hometown.

An Oddschecker pundit, who correctly predicted that Stoke City would beat Middlesbrough in a recent Premier League preview, tipped Madrid to secure back-to-back European Cup wins back in September and it may prove prudent to take their advice; especially when you consider how dominant Real were when they stepped it up against Napoli.

Bale bagged 24 goals in 42 appearances for club and country in what was a busy campaign last year and the Wales star will quickly get back to his brilliant best after he has served his suspension.

From time to time, Bale will be rampant – just as he was when scoring four in Real’s 10-2 victory against Rayo Vallecano last season – and that is the kind of performance that Madrid will expect from him when he returns on a full-time basis.

Real Madrid are blessed with talented footballers but Gareth Bale is right up there with the best in the business. Yes, Ronaldo has been the go-to guy at Santiago Bernabeu for the vast majority of his career but Bale is ready to step up and announce himself as the dominant figure under Zidane.

Watch this space, Gareth Bale means business and Real Madrid could prosper in their bid to secure a record 12th European Cup if the Welshman hits top form.