World’s most expensive player lifts lid on ‘stressful’ summer.
New Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale has said that being the centre of a transfer saga this summer was a stressful one as his move from Tottenham Hotspur dragged on throughout the entirety of the transfer window, The Guardian writes.
The 24-year-old has lifted the lid on his torturous summer and even admitted that there were times when his £85m move to the Spanish capital looked as though it was about to collapse as Daniel Levy tried to broker the best possible deal for the club.
“It was a long time. It was very stressful to say the least,” Bale told BT Sport.
“I knew their interest from the start and I was always confident the move would go through but obviously the chairman, Daniel Levy, had to do his business and do Tottenham well so I kind of understood that. But at the same time, thinking of myself, It was a hard time, it was stressful and I just had to be patient and try to focus.”
Bale completed the move on Sunday night and was quickly unveiled to the fans before he jetted back to the UK for Wales’ World Cup qualifier against Macedonia on Friday evening, and he has taken time out to speak of what a dream his move has been.
“When I was younger I had some close friends and we always loved European football and Real Madrid at that time were the dominant force and we always watched Real Madrid. I remember family holidays, we used to go Spain, and we’d bring back replica shirts of Real Madrid and wear them out and always pretend to be the players when we played in the park. It just started from there and I followed them since.
It isn’t the first time that Bale has faced a difficult spell in his career after injuries at Southampton threatened to hamper his progress.
“It was quite difficult,” he said. “I had a lot of growing problems with my back which made my hamstrings tighter which means I couldn’t run so quick and it kind of affected the way I played.
“So it was quite frustrating at that time, trying to do things you were able to do before but were then restricted to do. I think they believed that it was still there and it was a phase that I just needed to come through.
“There was a lot of debate but I think everybody at Southampton and especially Rod Ruddick, the Southampton scout who actually spotted me when I was nine, all believed that I would make it and we got through that phase and I actually showed what I was capable of.”
Bale initially struggled when he left the Saints to join up with Tottenham, but his push forward saw him flourish into one of the finest players in the world right now, and he has admitted that a plucky mix of good fortune and hard work has seen him become one of the finest players in the world right now.
“At that time I don’t think anybody expected anything in the future to happen as big as it did. I think it was thanks to all those who showed faith in me and I think those little strokes of luck and the bounce of the ball, you need sometimes to get where you are. I always believed in my ability.
“So there was an element of luck but I think that a lot of it is down to your hard work and dedication and how much effort you put in on the training pitch and on game days. That’s been there since I first started and that’s still there now.”