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Bale should be proud of Real Madrid career – Owen

  • September 23, 2019
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The 29-year-old’s time at the Spanish giants has been full of ups and downs but the former striker is sure he will go down as a success

Gareth Bale should be proud of everything he has achieved at Real Madrid, even though injury problems have hindered his career in the Spanish capital, former striker Michael Owen says.

The Wales international joined Madrid from Tottenham in a then world record fee in 2013. He has since made 223 appearances and scored 101 goals, winning four Champions League crowns and a La Liga title among others with the club.

The 29-year-old has constantly been linked with a move back to the Premier League, however, with Manchester United said to be the favourites to land him, though a return to Spurs has been mentioned as a possibility.

He has more than three years left on his contract, though, and former Madrid and England star Owen believes he will go down as a success at the Santiago Bernabeu regardless of his future.

“I think what Bale has achieved with Real Madrid has been very good,” Owen told AS. “Looking at the cold stats makes you realise just what he’s done – we’ve all seen the photos of him celebrating his goals in all of the important finals – the Champions League and Copa del Rey, but injuries have made things difficult for him.

“It’s not easy, but I think in the future, when he looks back at his time at Real Madrid, he can feel very proud of all of those great moments he’s had at the club. In England, we’re all very proud of him.”

Despite claiming a third consecutive European title last season, the 2018-19 campaign has been a torrid one for Bale’s side.

In Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane, they lost an iconic player and historic coach last summer and have already crashed out of the Champions League and Copa del Rey, while they sit 12 points behind Barcelona in La Liga. 

The club moved to arrest their decline by bringing Zidane back to replace Santiago Solari as coach this week, and Owen is confident his former team-mate will help turn things around.

“Things will calm down with him back at the club. Madrid will work to become the best again,” he said.

“I played with some brilliant players at Madrid – Raul, Luis Figo, Ronaldo… one of them was Zidane. I was sure that he was going to go into coaching when his playing career was over – for the way he is. He’s intelligent and what he’s achieved is incredible. His return to Madrid is fantastic for everyone.

“Zidane’s very calm, he understands the game and the players and that’s very important. I think the best coaches at the moment are doing well because they understand the players and they can share their experience. Maybe some of the older coaches won’t have that kind of experience.

“Football changes and the way teams are managed as well. Zidane has a very good relationship with all of his players. He’s someone who they respect. For the club, it’s good to have someone like him as the coach.”

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