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AFP
September 21, 2020

‘Hungry’ Bale targets trophies on return to Tottenham

Sports

AFP
September 21, 2020

LONDON: Gareth Bale believes his trophy-winning experience at Real Madrid can help Tottenham end a 12-year wait for silverware after completing his return to Spurs on a season-long loan deal on Saturday.

Bale will not be fit to make his second debut for the club until late October due to an injury.

But after being frozen out by coach Zinedine Zidane at the Spanish champions, the Welshman said he is motivated to prove he remains one of the world’s best players.

“I always thought when I did leave that one day I would love to come back, and the opportunity has now arisen,” Bale told the Tottenham website. “I feel like it’s a good fit, it’s a good time for me, I’m hungry, I’m motivated, I want to do well and can’t wait to get started.”

Bale, 31, won four Champions League and two La Liga titles with Madrid after moving for a then world-record fee of £85 million (today $110 million, 93 million euros) in 2013.

“Our club wishes good luck to a player who has been part of one of the most successful stages of our history,” Madrid said in a statement.

However, he had fallen out of favour since Zidane’s return as coach in May 2019.

The former Southampton winger made just two appearances for Madrid after football’s return from the break caused by the coronavirus pandemic and did not even travel for Real’s Champions League exit to Manchester City in June.

“I think by going to Madrid, winning trophies and going far with the national team, I feel like I have that winning mentality, how to win trophies.

“You don’t realise until you are there, in those situations, in finals, and knowing how to deal with those situations, the nerves, the pressure, and that all comes with experience.

“Hopefully, I’ll bring that to the dressing room, bring that belief that we can win a trophy, and the time to do that is this season, and not just one, to be fighting on every front possible. I want to bring that mentality back to Tottenham.”

Tottenham will reportedly pay half of Bale’s huge 30 million euro salary for the season, with Madrid still on the hook for the rest.

He will wear the number nine shirt and form an exciting front-three with England captain Harry Kane and South Korea’s Son Heung-min.