At the start of the season a friend predicted Gareth Bale would score over 30 goals in his debut season at Real Madrid. Everyone scoffed, and as the first person to hear this assertion, I bet £10 that he wouldn’t accomplish the feat.
As Bale initially struggled for match fitness and a position in the side, the Spanish media were critical of the most expensive player in the world. However, after overcoming a persistent thigh injury, he now has nine goals from 13 games. Suddenly, my bet isn’t looking quite such a sure thing. Indeed, a colleague at work suggested that, assuming he stays fit, it is more likely than not that, come May, he will have reached 30 goals in all competitions.
If Bale was to prove the doubters wrong, it would raise the question of whether the Wales star has justified his exorbitant fee. Certainly, no one in the Bernabeu will be complaining if he reaches 30 goals. However, critics will claim the achievement highlights the lack of competitiveness in La Liga and the growing disparity between Real Madrid, Barcelona and their closest rivals.