On this day: Gareth Bale makes professional debut for Southampton


The Welshman ended up being the world’s most pricey player when he left Tottenham for the Spanish giants.

Gareth Bale made his senior debut for Southampton on April 17, 2006.

Here, the PA news company takes a look at the start of Bale’s profession and how the Wales international went on to end up being the world’s most pricey player.

Early starts

Gareth Bale imagined on Whitchurch High School’s Wall of Popularity with fellow alumni Geraint Thomas and Sam Warburton (Phil Blanche/PA)

Bale participated in Whitchurch High School in Cardiff and was a modern of future Wales rugby captain Sam Warburton, playing in the exact same school football and rugbyteams Future Trip de France winner Geraint Thomas was a number of years ahead of him at a school kept in mind for its sporting excellence. Bale first signaled Southampton scouts at the age of 9 and trained at the Saints’ satellite academy in Bath. He was likely the quickest player there, running the 100 metres at the age of 14 in 11.4 seconds.

Pass away or do

Gareth Bale’s Southampton journey remained in danger of striking the buffers at the age of 15 (Peter Byrne/PA)

By the time Bale was 15 his hopes of qualifying were hanging in the balance. A series of disabling back injuries had actually slowed his development and Saints authorities were pondering over whether to award him an academy scholarship. The decision was to be made in January 2005, coming less than 48 hours after Bale was because of play for Southampton Under-18 s at Norwich. After Bale triggered havoc down the left, and his room-mate, Theo Walcott, scored a hat-trick by half- time, Southampton won 5-1 and Bale was on his way.

Saints alive

Gareth Bale commemorates his first senior goal for Southampton at Derby in August 2006 (Rui Vieira)

Little over a year on from that Norwich lifeline, Bale made his Southampton first-team debut at the age of 16 years and 275 days. He ended up being the second youngest player ever to play for Southampton, 132 days more youthful than Walcott. Bale made one more look prior to completion of that 2005-06 season and scored his first league goal, a hallmark free-kick, against Derby in August2006 Bale would ultimately make 45 appearances for Southampton, scoring 5 goals, prior to sealing a ₤ 7million move to Tottenham in May 2007.

Rise to the top

Gareth Bale made his mark at Tottenham after a tough start and was two times called PFA player of the year (David Davies/PA)

Following a tough start to his Spurs profession, which saw the team stop working to win in his first 24 appearances and talk of relocate to Birmingham or Nottingham Forest, Bale started to bloom. He was called PFA Player of the Year in 2011 and 2013 and Footballer of the Year in2013 Bale scored 26 goals in the 2012-13 season to make a world record ₤853 million move to Real Madrid in September2013 During his time in Madrid he has actually scored over 100 goals, won 4 Champions League titles and 3 FIFA World Cups, along with getting LaLiga and Copa del Rey winner’s medals. Bale ended up being Wales’ record goalscorer in 2018 and assisted his nation reach the semi-finals of Euro 2016.

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