Gareth Bale seems to be everywhere at the moment. After stellar performances this season, particularly against Inter Milan, where he came up against UEFA club defender of the year, Maicon. Bale’s manager, Harry Redknapp noted;
“No disrespect to the right-back but he’s given him the most torrid time you could ever wish to see.”
Even Maicon’s manager, Rafa Benitez got in on the act claiming;
“When we lost the ball Bale was quicker in the space and it was tough to contain him. If I drive a Volvo against a Ferrari on a straight, I lose. The Volvo is a good car because it’s our sponsor, but the Ferrari races faster.”
While hard-work and an abundance of natural talent have propelled Bale to superstardom, with seemingly any amount of money not being enough for the services of the 21 year-old, could the secret to Bale’s imperious athleticism also be attributed to some black tape strapped down his thigh? Kevin Anderson, head of Kinesio UK, the company that makes the £40 a-roll tape, certainly thinks so;
“It is a new way of treating injuries, but can aid people to play better too… Even if a player has a niggle or is tiring, they are able to continue at their optimum level because they don’t feel the pain.”
According to the Kinesio website;
“The Kinesio Taping Method is designed to facilitate the body’s natural healing process while allowing support and stability to muscles and joints without restricting the body’s range of motion.”
Bale has been sporting the tape throughout the season so far and he’s not the only sports star to use Kinesio tape, with basketball’s Boston Celtics using it on their players, and 7 time Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrong also swearing by it.
Bale’s leg tape brings to mind other strange footballing fads in the name of the science of performance. Who can forget Robbie Fowler’s ‘nasal strip’ used by some athletes to enhance their air intake; claims which were later refuted by scientists. Or Patrick Vieira’s mysterious patch of gloop on his shirt, which was reportedly Vicks VapoRub to allow him to breathe more clearly.
Whether Kinesio tape is just another sporting fad or a scientific miracle is yet to be seen, but with the scintillating form Gareth Bale has been showing this season, whether it works or not, I can’t see him ditching it!