Gareth Bale: Respect

Earlier today, Gareth Bale and his Welsh teammates bowed out of the EURO 2016 Tournament. Portugal defeated Wales, 2-0, behind goals by Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani. However, Wales vastly outperformed expectations by reaching the Semifinals (smallest country to get to that point), and defeating an incredibly talented Belgium team along the way. The lead man for Wales was clearly the Real Madrid standout, Gareth Bale. After being apart of one of the largest (money wise) transfers of all time, Bale has received great pressure to cement himself as one of the greatest players in the world. While a good amount of criticism has been placed his way while in Spain, Bale proved in this tournament that he truly is a world class footballer. Sublime pace, great vision, and an unbelievable shot from distance, displayed his wonderful ability. However his skills on the field were not the most impressive part of his performance in France, this summer. Look no further than comparing Bale to his club teammate and opponent today, Cristiano Ronaldo. Both Bale and (to a little lesser extent) Ronaldo, are clearly the best players on their respective international squads, and are surrounded by inferior players. However when one of the Portuguese players make a mistake or refuse to pass to CR7, Ronaldo excessively berates them and pouts. Contrastly, if one of Wales’s players miss hits a pass to Bale, he simply replies with a thumbs up, encouraging his lesser teammates to remain positive and keep up the good work. It is obvious to observe that all of the Portuguese players greatly fear Ronaldo, and he has not truly apart of the “team”. Instead Cristiano, is above the rest of the squad, and cannot be bothered to have to deal with his “no-name” or “untalented” country-mates. On the other hand, it is clear that Bale view himself (and is viewed by his teammates) as just another guy on the team; an equal. Gareth feels great honor to wear the shirt of his country, and desperately wants to win for his country and his teammates. However, Ronaldo appears to only want to win for himself and his legacy. Even in the last match in the 90th minute, when Wales was down 2-0 and defeat was imminent, Bale showed his courage. While other players, like Ronaldo, would wilt at this point and stop trying, Bale was exerting maximum effort by running all over the pitch, chasing the ball, and playing for pride. Gareth Bale showed a lot this Summer. Gareth Bale: Respect.

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