Gareth Bale: Ranking football's most memorable returns ahead of star's Tottenham comeback

Bale is set to return to Spurs

Gareth Bale is on the verge of returning to Tottenham. 

After seven years at Real Madrid, the Welshman is expected to return to north London on-loan, ending his Los Blancos nightmare.

Despite an incredible career in Spain, which has seen the forward win 13 major trophies, he's no longer rated by Zinedine Zidane. 

The manager has been freezing Bale out for months now and it seems he's finally had enough, jumping ship back to familiar territory. 

Of course, he's not the first big-name player to make a return to his former club. 

Ahead of Bale's Spurs reunion, GIVEMESPORT have ranked seven of football's most memorable comebacks. 

Bale is heading back to Tottenham

7. Joe Cole 

There was a time when West Ham were producing some of the Premier League's top talent. The likes of Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard and Cole all came through their academy. 

All three went on to do great things away from Upton Park, but one returned a decade after he left. 

Cole's comeback didn't quite go to plan though, as he failed to establish himself as a starter in a relegation-threatened West Ham side. 

Cole returned to West Ham

6. Mario Gotze

Gotze, like many before him, swapped Borussia Dortmund for Bayern Munich when he was playing at his peak.

But after struggling in Bavaria, he returned to the Rhine three years later and admitted he should never have made the switch. 

Sadly, the midfielder's Dortmund comeback wasn't great. He was blighted by injuries for years before eventually being released this summer. 

Gotze's comeback was marred by injury

5. Kaka

This one will remind you of Bale's situation. Back in 2009, Kaka swapped AC Milan for Real Madrid and cost just under €70m. 

He showed glimpses of greatness in a white shirt but ultimately struggled to find success, winning just one La Liga title in four seasons. 

Desperate to re-live his Milan glory days, Kaka returned to Italy in 2013 but tore his hamstring in his first game back. He did score seven goals later that season, though. 

Kaka famously returned to Milan

4. Dirk Kuyt 

Kuyt is the definition of a cult hero. He was loved by Liverpool fans and even more revered by  Feyenoord supporters. 

So when he re-joined the club in 2015, he was welcomed back with open arms. It was in Holland that he had arguably the greatest day of his career too.

In his last game, Kuyt scored a hat-trick on the final day of the 2016/17 season to deliver Feyenoord's first Eredivisie title in 18 years and as captain, he was the first to lift the trophy.

Kuyt's comeback was iconic

3. Mark Hughes 

Many will forget that Hughes left Man United for two seasons between 1986 and 1988 to play for two of Europe's biggest clubs - Barcelona and Bayern Munich. 

After a rather forgettable spell away from Old Trafford, the Welshman re-joined United and became one of the most important players in Sir Alex Ferguson's most dominating side.

Back in England, Hughes won two Premier League titles and two FA Cups in a seven-year spell and was also named PFA Player of the Year twice.

Hughes was a Man Utd hero

2. Thierry Henry 

Henry is one of the Premier League's biggest legends - but don't forget, he spent three years with Barcelona before returning for a second spell at Arsenal.

His homecoming was met with a fanfare... after all, the king had returned. Henry may have only been back for a short six-month loan period, but supporters will never forget it. 

The Frenchman went out on a high too, scoring a stoppage-time winner on his final appearance.

Henry's return was a huge moment

1. Didier Drogba

Talking of Premier League legends, it's another who tops this list. After delivering three titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups and the Champions League, Drogba left Chelsea

But he was back just two years later. At age 36, he was brought back by Jose Mourinho to be a leader on the pitch and in the dressing room. 

Two more trophies followed for the talisman. He won the League Cup and scored crucial goals against Spurs, Man United and Leicester to deliver one more Premier League trophy. Mission accomplished. 

Drogba tops the list of greatest comebacks

Bale will be hoping to channel his inner Drogba - or Hughes - upon his return to Tottenham. Let's just hope he does better than Cole! 

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