Real Madrid star Gareth Bale admits his injury problems have caused him frustration and even sent him into a “bit of a downward spiral”.
Injuries in football, of course, happen to every player no matter who they are or what level they’re in. For Bale, though, it’s become a constant worry and caused Real supporters to turn against him.
Since his world-record €100m transfer from Tottenham, Bale has sustained 19 injury setbacks and missed over 68 games for Real. Calf problems have been his biggest woe along with hamstring and ankle issues.
Wales boss Ryan Giggs even confessed on Sunday that he’s wary of playing the 30-year-old on Monday’s friendly against Belarus for the fear of another injury.
These setbacks actually led the Spanish press to dub him as “Mr Glass” earlier this year. While the club supporters lost patience altogether, and booed him frequently towards the end of last season.
Not helping Bale’s cause is the fact that regaining top form after returning from a serious injury takes time.
However, the now fully-fit Wales star has begun the new season strongly with two goals and an assist in Real’s first three La Liga games. He also grabbed the match-winner as Wales secured a crucial 2-1 win over Azerbaijan on Friday.
“Scoring goals and playing well breeds confidence,” Bale told the Daily Mirror.
“Every player with more confidence plays well and scores more goals. Ideally I can score a few more and keep scoring and helping the team.
“Going into the summer games I didn’t have that physical fitness where I wanted to be.
“I think when you are not fully fit in terms of match fitness then you are not able to do what you want to and you get frustrated.
“It is a bit of a downward spiral.
“But those games are gone, I am in good form and am fully fit. I have the matches under my belt and am going into these games with confidence.
“That helps with being able to score and physically do what you want to do.”