Gareth Bale’s biggest problem at Real Madrid has been his vulnerability to injuries, according to the club’s youth coordinator Stefan Kohfahl.
The Welshman completed a then world-record £85 million ($106m) switch from Tottenham to Madrid back in 2013, and has gone on to win plenty of silverware during his time in the Spanish capital.
Bale has captured four Champions League crowns, a La Liga title, a Copa del Rey and three Club World Cups at the Bernabeu, but his time at the club could be nearing its end.
The 30-year-old has suffered through a number of injuries in recent seasons, with calf, ankle and adductor problems among the issues that have forced him to the sidelines.
Bale nearly moved to China before the 2019-20 season, with a proposed transfer to CSL side Jiangsu Suning “90 per cent” done before it fell through, according to the club’s head coach Cosmin Olaroiu.
A move away from Real Madrid could still be on the cards, with Bale admitting this week that Major League Soccer is an interesting prospect for him.
Kohfahl has said that Bale deserves more respect than he gets, saying that he has been stellar for the club when he’s on the pitch.
“His ratings with Real are incredible,” Kohfahl told Goal and SPOX.
“The problem is his vulnerability to injury. He is actually a shy and modest person, very introverted. He’s also under pressure, of course. It would make me happy if more respect comes from the audience and he gets back on his feet again.”
Bale has seen his place in the team come under threat from young talent imported from abroad like Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior, as well as talent developed in Madrid like Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez.
Kohfahl believes that Madrid would be well served by giving its academy stars a shot to impress in the first team, saying Madrid’s Under-23 side is the world’s best.
“Real always has a large number of its own young players in the squad,” Kohfahl said. “That has always been a main focus. This season, with Nacho, [Dani] Carvajal and Casemiro, there are again some top-class players.
“In addition, players like Sergio Ramos, [Karim] Benzema and Raphael Varane came to Real Madrid at the age of 20 and have matured here to become world-class players. Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo, Valverde and Reinier are also taking this route.”