THE black-and-white stats ensure the matter is beyond reasonable doubt.
With four European Cups and nine more trophies as a Real Madrid player, Gareth Bale is the most successful British footballing export of all-time.
2 Kieran Trippier and Aaron Ramsey have both left North London this summer
Then there was the evidence of our eyes, in Kiev in May last year, when Bale improvised his acrobatic bicycle kick to settle a classic Champions League final against Liverpool — laying bare the nonsense of Zinedine Zidane having started him on the bench.
Yet should Bale leave the Bernabeu in the coming weeks, there will be little fondness for the Welshman among the Madridistas.
In Britain, we tend to think of this as typical arrogance and ingratitude from the snootiest of football clubs.
But really there should be little surprise they have never taken Bale to their hearts in the dressing room or on the terraces.
In six years in the Spanish capital, he has never gained a decent grasp of the language and never truly integrated with team-mates, with whom he is known as ‘The Golfer’ because of his all-consuming hobby.
This doesn’t make Bale a bad person — he certainly isn’t.
He’s a polite, if rather shy, bloke who enjoys the quiet life, despite playing for the most showbiz football club on Earth.
But while footballers often talk about being ‘not being the sort of player who’s happy to sit on the bench and pick up his wages’, Bale — who turned 30 seven days ago — now does seem to be that sort of player.