Bale finished the season in fine form, full of confidence and is already excited by the start of the 2014/15 season. In fact he’s got 12 August ringed in red on his calendar, the date of the European Supercup against Sevilla, where he’ll be playing in front of his ‘home’ crowd in Cardiff.
After a bumpy start to his first season with Real Madrid, with various injury problems, Bale finished with honours: 22 goals in just over 3,000 minutes of football, and 19 assists. And he scored important goals too, the 59 metre sprint in seven seconds to score the winner in the Copa against Barcelona, or the goal that put Madrid ahead in Lisbon. But he wants more. Sources from his inner circle, who were with him for three days in Cardiff after his Asian tour, have confirmed to this newspaper that his message is clear: “This season I’m aiming for the Ballon d’Or and to win everything with Madrid. I want to see Real Madrid as the best team in the world, no arguments”.
Bale is looking for the ‘Modric effect’ who arrived in similar conditions (and from the same club), without having had a pre-season, which had a major impact on their performance. Now, just like Modric, he wants a spectacular second season. He’s got 50 days of holidays (though he’s already taking care of his diet) and will use the last 10 to prepare himself for the pre-season itself, which will be the 30 days up to the Super Cup in Cardiff.
Before coming to Madrid Bale had only won the Carling Cup, with Tottenham. Now he’s got a Copa and a Champions League. And he’s more ambitious than ever. He’s 24 years old (Cristiano is 29) and is thinking that if Madrid win everything, he’ll have a good shout of claiming the Ballon d’Or.