Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti pays tribute to ‘unforgettable’ Gareth Bale following his retirement from football… despite freezing the Welshman out of the team during his final season at the club
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has paid tribute to Gareth Bale following the Welshman’s retirement from football.
The former Santiago Bernabeu star has called to an end to his illustrious career which saw him win five Champions Leagues, three LaLiga titles and three Club World Cups.
Bale’s final season at the Spanish giants saw him froze out of the team by Ancelotti, but the Italian still clearly has good memories of the Welshman, as he took to Twitter to give his reaction to the news.
Carlo Ancelotti has paid tribute to Gareth Bale after the Welshman’s retirement from football
Ancelotti posted a picture of Bale knocking the ball past Marc Batra – leading up to his stunning goal against Barcelona in the 2014 Copa del Rey final.
Along with the image, the 63-year-old wrote: ‘Unforgettable. Thank you @GarethBale11.’
It was Ancelotti who originally signed Bale from Tottenham for what was then a world record fee of £86million in 2013.
Bale’s first two seasons at the club, under Ancelotti, were very successful, as he scored 39 goals in 92 games across all competitions.
Ancelotti posted this picture of Bale bursting past Marc Bartra before scoring his incredible Copa del Rey final goal against Barcelona in 2014 – during Ancelotti’s first spell at the club
After being a regular under Ancelotti in his first spell, he was froze out of the team when the Italian returned
Ancelotti was relieved of his duties after Barcelona clinched both the LaLiga title and Champions League in 2014-15 – inspired by their deadly trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez.
Bale meanwhile was part of Madrid’s own prolific trio alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema – playing a big part in helping them win five Champions League trophies.
However, by the time Ancelotti returned to Madrid in 2021, Bale was already on the wane at the club.
He had just returned from a year on loan at Tottenham and had fallen out of favour with the club and their supporters.
Ancelotti would start Bale in the first three games of the 2021-22 season, but would only start one further LaLiga game all season due to injuries and lack of form.
Real Madrid described Bale as ‘one of the club’s great legends’ despite their issues with the Welshman during his final years at the Santiago Bernabeu
Real Madrid hailed Gareth Bale as ‘one of the club’s great legends’ when it reacted it officially to the player announcing his retirement from football.
The club said it wanted to show its ‘gratitude, admiration and affection,’ in the statement that came shortly after the former Wales international confirmed he was quitting.
Listing his 19 trophies it continued: ‘Gareth Bale formed part of our team in one of the club’s most successful periods and gave us some of the greatest memories that will never be forgotten.’
The club’s statement also drew on that iconic goal scored with a run from the halfway line in the 2014 Copa del Rey final, and the overhead kick against Liverpool.
The statement concluded: ‘You will forever be linked to the history of our club. Best of luck, Gareth, and best wishes to you and your family.’