Here at Icons.com, we’re proud to say we work with the world’s best footballers. From Lionel Messi to Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Jr to James Rodriguez, Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez and, of course, the greats of bygone years; Pele, Diego Maradona, Eric Cantona and many, many more. But no list of the world’s best and brightest can be complete without the most expensive player in the history of the game.
That’s why our team swapped the warmth and sunshine of North London with the dreary grey and rainy skies of Madrid to meet Welsh wing wizard Gareth Bale for yet another exclusive signing session. Arriving in Spain to the news that the race for La Liga supremacy was to get yet tighter after victories for each of the top three, we were far from surprised to find that all the locals wanted to talk about was football. Not that they ever need an excuse.
Upon hearing that we were in town to meet the 27-year-old Real Madrid winger for a signing, the taxi drivers, barmen and hotel staff who help smoothen our journeys around the world were keen to stress the Welshman’s importance to a team still very much on the hunt for a league and UEFA Champions League double. History beckons for Gareth and his Castilian cohorts. Not only would a UEFA Champions League triumph bring the club the ultimate European glory for the 11th time, a La Liga title would have them move on to a record 33 Spanish championships.
And what with UEFA EURO 2016 on the horizon, it’s no wonder our friend was in high spirits.
To the dulcet tones of Tom Jones, our session began in earnest. Adding his signature to our fantastic range of brand new products, Gareth happily chatted away about life in the Spanish capital, the Premier League’s unlikely title tussle, his love for golf and, naturally, the challenges that lie ahead.Although there is much to look forward to, this was also a great time for Gareth to take a look back on some of the crowning moments of his sparking career. Signing our excellent range of 16 x 12 inch photos, the Welshman was reminded of his six momentous years at Tottenham Hotspur, where he scored 42 goals in 146 matches and won back-to-back PFA Players’ Player of the Year awards and the PFA Young Player of the Year and FWA Player of the Year. When asked about the race for the title in England, Gareth admitted that although he wants his old club to claim top spot in the Premier League, he can’t help but be swept up in the incredible story that is Leicester City.
After all, this is a man who lives for sport. In fact, much of the signing session was spent discussing his other big passion in life: golf. While continuing to autograph our brand new range of Real Madrid and Spurs shirts, Gareth spoke with great passion about his love for the game of golf; his amazement at Jordan Spieth’s collapse at The Masters a few months ago; his joy at seeing a British winner of that hallowed major; and his own experiences on the courses in and around the Spanish capital (the winger’s handicap is six, for those who are interested).
“So, do you play any other sports?” Gareth is asked. “Well, football,” comes his cheeky response. We’re starting to get the feeling that Gareth is really loving life at the moment. And what with UEFA EURO 2016 not far off, the Cardiff-born speedster is extremely confident in Wales‘ chances. Laughing away as he shares in some friendly England–Wales banter, Gareth says he expects his compatriots to spring a few upsets at this summer’s festival of football in France.
Having this season surpassed Gary Lineker to become La Liga’s all-time highest scoring Brit, Gareth has every reason to feel confident. After all, the world’s most expensive footballer is only getting better; scoring more goals, providing yet more stunning assists and coasting past full-backs with his ultra quick turn of pace. In Gareth, Wales has one of the stars of the tournament. So, watch out England.