The blossoming of a player in his youth is one of the more beautiful sides of football. With the growth of player power, spiraling wages and simulation, the game has perhaps become harder to smile about. Yet when a young man, from a growing club and relatively small footballing nation (Wales) ploughs through one of Europe's elite with such aplomb, one cannot help but get excited.
Why excited? Because Gareth Bale himself appeared excited when scything through Inter Milan, like a slalom skier in pursuit of gold. Zanetti, Maicon, Lucio, all failed to slow the young speedster down as he showed a level of directness and execution that many niftier wingers would do well to adopt.
Inter would not have been the only giant to be left wide eyed at this wide man's brilliance. Bale, like his contemporaries, the younger Ryan Giggs and Damien Duff, is very much a winger of the British mould. Fewer step overs but just as many victims, victims that die quick deaths as opposed to being tricked into submission, as they may by more flair players.
No doubt tongues and cheque books will have begun wagging after the Welshman's hat-trick, however, few sides, save Manchester United and his current employers, would give him the space and authority to buccaneer as he does.
Thankfully, although briefly, it prevented the back pages being awash with Wayne Rooney's off-the-field matters.
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