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Gareth Bale 2012/13- unravelling of a superstar

While Gareth Bale’s fortunes have slowed in recent seasons, it's important to recall why the winger was named a Galactico and the world's most expensive player seven years ago.

Last updated: 26.07.2021
Gareth Bale 2012-13 unravelling of a superstar

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While the Welshman's fortunes have slowed in recent seasons, it's important to recall why the winger was named a Galactico and the world's most expensive player seven years ago.



Bale may have scored over a century of goals in the colours of Real Madrid since heading to Spain, but the 2012/13 season remains the finest goalscoring campaign of his career, both for league goals and in all competitions. Only Robin van Persie and Luis Suarez scored more in the Premier League than the Spurs star, Bale hitting 21 league goals for the north London side. Bale’s goals came at an average of 139 minutes-per-goal, whilst his tally was a huge 33% of all of Tottenham’s league goals scored throughout the campaign and added 24 points to the club’s total.

Above that, the winger’s tally of nine goals from distance accounted for 42.8% of his overall goals, whilst it was also the most any player has ever scored in a single campaign. It was also the highest figure amongst Europe’s top five leagues that season, two ahead of Lionel Messi and three clear of both Gokhan Inler and Hernanes.

Speed, Power and Brilliance

Still, summarising Bale’s season based simply on statistics would be doing a huge disservice to a wonderful campaign, in which the winger seemed near untouchable when operating at full flight. To be frank, he was freakishly fast. Bale completed 59 take-on throughout the season as he drifted from a left-ring role to supporting forward, whilst creating 75 chances with his pinpoint delivery. His four league assists also added to a haul of 37 goal contributions in all competitions (26 goals, 11 assists), the third-highest total of any player in the Premier League, behind only Robin van Persie (39) and Juan Mata (49).

Simply devastating throughout much of the campaign, Bale’s season was one of a player at his very best and oozing the confidence that comes with outshining his Premier League peers. The winger’s performances were not quite enough as Spurs finished outside of the division’s top four, though he was deservedly recognised with a clean sweep of individual awards, winning a PFA Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year double in addition to the PFA Young Player of the Year award.

The acknowledgement of Bale as the Premier League’s finest player was his second in three seasons, whilst he became just the third player to simultaneously hold both the senior and young player awards after Andy Gray and Cristiano Ronaldo. Tottenham’s absence from Europe’s elite meant the inevitable came as Bale headed to Madrid in a world-record deal, and whilst his flame has flickered brightly on occasion during his time with Los Blancos, the Bale that will be remembered most fondly upon his retirement is the one who starred during a sensational 2013/13 campaign.

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