Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Bale can silence critics against Valencia

07 May 2015, 12:50

Madrid - Gareth Bale's troubled second season at Real Madrid hit a fresh low with a poor performance in Tuesday's Champions League defeat at Juventus but the Wales winger has a chance to silence his critics in Saturday's La Liga clash at home to Valencia.

Bale, making his first start in Turin after a brief injury layoff, has been whistled by some disgruntled Real fans at the Bernabeu this term, a startling turnaround for a player who scored crucial goals in the finals of the Champions League and the King's Cup in 2013-14.

That kind of return was why Real broke the transfer record to lure the 25-year-old from Tottenham Hotspur but he has struggled to live up to expectations as the world's richest club by income chase a record-extending 11th European crown and seek to haul in La Liga leaders Barcelona.

Eliminated from the King's Cup by city rivals Atletico in January, Real lost the Champions League semi-final, first leg at Juve 2-1 and are two points behind Barca, who host Real Sociedad on Saturday, in second in La Liga with three matches left.

Also read: Bale, Benzema likely to be fit for Juve clash

Bale barely made an impact against Juve before being substituted near the end and had a mere 14 touches in the first half, six fewer than Real goalkeeper Iker Casillas.

To be sure, his statistics are similar to those from last season, with 17 goals and 10 assists in 45 matches in 2014-15 compared to 22 goals and 12 assists in 44 games last term.

However, the perception remains that he is not performing well enough and he has been criticised for being too selfish in front of goal and not contributing enough in defence.

Real coach Carlo Ancelotti has staunchly defended Bale and did so again after the Juve defeat.

"I took him off because he was tired and was coming back from an injury," Ancelotti told reporters.

"He is too important for us and when a player is tired there is a risk of injury and I prefer to avoid problems," added the Italian.

While Real's season has hit rough waters, treble-chasing Barca are flying and go into Saturday's game against Sociedad following Wednesday's superb 3-0 Champions League win at home to Bayern Munich.

Luis Enrique's side, through to this month's King's Cup final to face Athletic Bilbao, have scored 23 goals without reply in their last six outings in all competitions.

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...