Sensational. Outstanding. Breathtaking. Thrilling. Whatever synonym you wish to use, Gareth Bale’s rise has been a pleasure to watch. A footballer that clearly has his feet firmly on the floor – and about 15 yards ahead of the nearest defender. His rise from bench warmer to superstar has not been the easiest route that a footballer has taken. His confidence must have taken a battering when the press started to round off the number of games Tottenham failed to win with him in the team. In a strange way, that experience may help him in the future. He isn’t a footballer that has had things handed to him on a plate. That can only serve him well as the press link the Welshman with every club in Europe.
If Gareth Bale needs an inspiration, he should not look to Madrid but to Manchester. Bale’s meteoric rise mirrors that of Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs. Ryan Giggs has set an example for all young footballers. The Welshman has shown a tremendous amount of loyalty to both Manchester United and also to Wales before retirement. The Manchester United winger himself was thrown into the limelight (of course the media was less intense in the 90’s) and his love for the game was what people have admired. For Giggs it has been easier because he has been at Europe’s top club, winning Premier League titles and Champions Leagues. However it is the principle that Giggs has set which makes him such a good role model. Footballers earn a vast amount of money, but without knowing Giggs personally, you get the feeling he is naturally a shy and modest person, a player who knows nothing else but to put his career in football first.
Gareth Bale himself has spoken of his admiration for Ryan Giggs.
“He’s shown, ever since he made his debut, what a good player and what a good person he is for football,” Bale said at the launch of BT’s new football fan website.
“He’s an amazing person to follow and hopefully I can come a little bit near him.”
Cristiano Ronaldo is a sensational footballer but he is no inspiration. At the San Siro on Wednesday he was again rolling around as if someone had thrown a punch at him, when actually he was pushed away in the chest. There is nothing wrong with the way Ronaldo plays with the ball. His pace, strength and goalscoring ability are to be admired and something Gareth Bale would do well to learn from. Its his attitude off the ball. The sulks, the tantrums, the lack of effort to work back and help the team. That is not what players should be taking inspiration from.
Players like Ryan Giggs have shown young footballers that the path to superstar status can be done on the pitch. Sure Ryan Giggs has done his fair share of sponsorship and endorsement adverts but not to the same level as some players around the globe. Not for one minute does it mean Gareth Bale will or should join Manchester United. Those rumours are for another time and another piece.
What Bale can learn from Giggs is to stay grounded, to go out each week and show why people talk about you alongside the worlds best. Gareth Bale is a phenomial talent that shouldn’t be wasted. He has a great manager beside him, who has seen such rises in the likes of Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand. The best place for Gareth Bale at the moment is White Hart Lane, and the winger should concentrate on playing destructive football of the kind we have seen over the past weeks.
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