For some, being paid £600,000 per week just to turn up to your place of employment but not actually do any work is the stuff of dreams. Indeed, just coming to the realisation that we’ll never be in that position is making us weep ever so slightly.
But to Gareth Bale, it’s a living nightmare.
After his lucrative Chinese takeaway fell through – a move to Jiangsu Suning would’ve seen the Welshman pocket well over £1m per week – Bale’s career could enter the World Limbo Championships and saunter away with the gold medal.
Frozen out of the Real Madrid team by manager Zinedine Zidane and demonised by the club’s supporters, it looks as if the wantaway Welshman is set for a season on the sidelines. So, being the considerate folk that we are, we’ve come up with some activities he could get up to out there to keep himself busy.
Well, you’ve got to make the best of a bad situation, right?
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1. Become Real’s official bench tester
The Santiago Bernabeu: home of Real Madrid and the scene of more topless Cristiano Ronaldo celebrations than we care to remember.
But despite its reputation as one of the world’s most famous footballing cathedrals, plans are afoot to upgrade the stadium to bring it in line with modern standards – such as a retractable roof, jumbo screens and, presumably, cushier dugouts.
With work getting underway imminently, the club should make full use of Bale’s bench-dwelling experience and employ him as their seat quality assessor. You may not be doing much Gareth, but at least you’ll earn your crust – and your arse should be splinter-free if you choose right.
2. Launch the club’s spin-off golf society
Bale’s love of golf is no secret. We’re talking about a man who spends all of his free time playing the sport off a five handicap, and who built a three-hole golf course in their back garden. And not just any old chip and putt tracks – they are carbon copies of the 12th hole at Augusta, Royal Troon’s Postage Stamp and the infamous 17th at Sawgrass.
No wonder he’s been nicknamed The Golfer by his Real teammates.
So why not launch an official Real Madrid golf society and make the Welshman the disgruntled face of it?
It’d certainly be good for business: so many supporters would pay the green fees just so they can boo Bale around the course that it would more than cover his mega salary.
3. Become a full-time Instagram influencer
With a whopping 40 million followers, Bale is one of the most followed sportsmen on everybody’s favourite look-what-I-had-for-dinner-tonight picture platform. It’s reported he earns £150,000 per sponsored post, making him the second highest-paid Briton after some fella called David Beckham.
Rather than just twiddling his thumbs, Bale ought to put them to good use by tapping away captions on even more influential posts, just like all the Love Island alumni do.
We can imagine the videos now: “Hi, I’m Gareth Bale and I’ve got to say this is the best fake tan I’ve ever used. It easily rinses off, making it perfect for practical jokes as well, such as spraying it on your manager’s stupid bald head when he isn’t looking. It’s a thumbs up from me!”
4. Start a babysitting business
The winger’s inability to gel with teammates can largely be explained by his strict bedtime, as revealed by keeper Thibaut Courtois earlier this year.
“We had arranged to be in the restaurant at 9:30pm… we go to bed at around 1am,” explained the Belgian stopper. “We have to train every morning at 11am – I think that is a perfect time. But Bale had told us, ‘I am not coming to join you, guys. I go to bed at 11pm.’”
Ample free time and such a strict dedication to beddy-byes makes it common sense for Bale to earn cash by babysitting for his teammates while they are busy, you know, playing football.
Combine a very healthy hourly rate with some hard work and dedication and Gareth could make up most of the extra £700,000 per week he’s missing out on in China in no time!
5. Make Zinedine Zidane’s life misery
It’s rumoured that Los Blancos president Florentino Perez pulled the plug on Bale’s transfer after the team’s 7-3 friendly hammering at the hands of rivals Atletico. Perez insists the Welshman still has something to offer the team, but being the “headstrong” man that he is, Zidane is unlikely to swallow his pride and make room for him.
So, it’s high time that Bale exacted some revenge on his arch nemesis – deflating his car tyres at training every day, sarcastically laughing through team talks, childishly cutting his jeans in half… actually, scrap that last one. That would actually make Zizou’s jeans look remotely respectable for once.
But wind him up enough and the Frenchman will inevitably hand his resignation in, giving Bale another opportunity to impress under a new gaffer.
Yu see, Gareth? It doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. Take our advice and everything will be coming up roses. You can thank us later – a week or two’s wages should suffice…Shoot over to PaddyPower.com now for all the latest football odds