Gareth Bale will grace the Champions League once again. The question is: When?
Few people would disagree with the argument that Tottenham’s Welsh winger is bound to compete in Europe’s premier cup competition in the future. Having just turned 24, Bale is in the prime of his career and is currently one of the hottest players in world football.
Despite that, the Wales international’s only previous experience of the Champions League came in the 2010/11 season. Spurs impressively made it through to the quarter finals, with Bale making the most of his opportunity to make a name for himself on the world stage. As well as being an integral part of their success, he even shone when the rest of the team could not, most notably by scoring a hat-trick at the San Siro in a 4-3 group stage defeat to Inter Milan.
Should he decide to stay at White Hart Lane for the upcoming season, Bale will spend another year in the Europa League. Spurs have frequently missed out on Champions League qualification by the narrowest of margins, more often than not conceding the position to their bitter rivals Arsenal. Possibly even more painful than missing out to the Gunners, however, was in 2012, when securing fourth place turned out not to be enough as sixth-placed Chelsea lifted the European Cup.
Rumours come and go of clubs making a move for Bale. Manchester United and Real Madrid, who can each boast being one of the most famous global brands, have frequently been linked to the winger. Tottenham Hotspur is not a small pond by any means, but with Bale continuing to excel he may eventually outgrow it. He cannot continue to be the only thing people think of when Andre Villas-Boas’ side are mentioned.
Whilst Spurs have done well to continually challenge the top four, not breaking into it could ultimately lose them their star player.
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