Gareth Bale might not be loved by Real Madrid fans, and injuries restricted his peak years, yet he is unquestionably one of the most important footballers of his generation.
A talisman for Wales and match-winner for Real Madrid, Bale has evolved from marauding left-back to an explosive, game-changing forward.
His career achievements and records are not focused on quantity like his former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo. Instead, Bale’s significance is in the timing of his contributions and how he has helped his teams win matches.
Gareth Bale’s Tottenham Achievements
- Gareth Bale scored 72 goals in 237 matches for Tottenham.
- Bale was named Premier League Player of the Season in 2012-13, when he top scored for Spurs with 26 goals in 44 appearances, including numerous match winners.
- Named to the PFA Team of the Year three times as a Spurs player, Bale was also PFA Players’ Player of the Year in 2011-12 and 2012-13.
- Bale was included in the UEFA Team of the Year in 2011 and 2013.
- Bale scored more goals for Spurs than Gary Lineker, Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli.
- Spurs sold Bale to Real Madrid for a then world-record fee of £85.3 million in September 2013, and he returned to the club on loan in 2020-21.
Gareth Bale’s Real Madrid Achievements
- Bale won three La Liga titles and five Champions Leagues with Real Madrid.
- Despite a difficult relationship with Spanish media and the Los Blancos faithful, Bale frequently delivered in the biggest matches and finished his Real career with 106 goals in 258 matches.
- Only 16 players have scored more goals for Real Madrid, and only six non-Spaniards can better Bale’s tally for the club.
- Bale became the first Welshman to score in a Champions League final in May 2013, as he put Real Madrid ahead against Atletico Madrid in extra time.
- In the 2018 Champions League final, Bale became the first ever substitute to score a brace in the final, which included a spectacular bicycle kick for his first.
- He was also named Man of the Match in the 2018 final.
- Bale scored the winner in the 2014 Copa del Rey final against Barcelona, running off the pitch to go past Marc Bartra as part of a wonderful solo goal.
- Bale won the Golden Ball at the 2018 Club World Cup after becoming just the third player to score a hat-trick in the competition.
- Bale netted his 100th goal for Real Madrid in February 2019 during a 3-1 win over Atletico Madrid.
Gareth Bale’s Wales Achievements
- Gareth Bale has made 109 appearances for Wales, scoring 41 goals in the process.
- Bale is Wales’ all-time leading scorer with 12 more than anyone else.
- He is tied with long-time teammate Chris Gunter for the appearance record.
- Bale broke Ian Rush’s goalscoring record in March 2018 with a hat-trick against China.
- Bale led Wales to the semi-final of Euro 2016, scoring three goals in what was Wales’ best-ever performance at a major tournament.
- He found the net in all three of Wales’ group stage matches at Euro 2016, two of which were from free kicks.
- Four years later, Bale was again integral as Wales reached the round of 16.
- Bale scored a brace against Austria and the only goal of the game against Ukraine as Wales won the 2022 World Cup qualifying playoffs to secure their first World Cup appearance since 1958.
- Only five players scored more goals than Bale’s six in UEFA World Cup qualifying for the 2022 tournament.
- At 16 years and 315 days old, Bale was Wales’ youngest ever player, though the record has since been broken by Harry Wilson.
- In October 2006, Bale scored a free kick at 17 years and 83 days old to become Wales’ youngest ever goal scorer.
- Bale led Wales to their highest-ever world ranking of eighth in October 2015.
Gareth Bale’s World Cup Achievements
- Bale won and converted a penalty against the USA in November 2022, becoming Wales’ first World Cup goal scorer in 64 years.
- He is one of just four players to score at a World Cup for the Dragons along with Ivor Allchurch, John Charles and Terry Medwin.
- Bale has scored 13 goals in 28 World Cup qualifying starts.