Gareth Bale reveals the difficulties on the road to Real Madrid
Gareth Bale claims he had to endure a great deal of stress before his dream move to Real Madrid was completed. The Welsh forward was at the center of perhaps the biggest and longest transfer sagas in history, a saga that ended with Tottenham Hotspur pocketing a world record transfer fee of approximately €100 million and Real Madrid acquiring Bale’s services.
After being revealed the world as Real Madrid latest star, Bale talked about the difficulties he and both clubs faced during the transfer saga. The 24-year-old Wales international claims it wasn’t easy burden to bear and that patience took its toll on both clubs.
“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 and focus.”
Bale further revealed that somewhere along the road he realized that joining Real Madrid was his boyhood dream, a wish that could turn into reality. From that moment onwards Bale insists he was a Madridsta and was willing to wait for the deal to be sealed.
“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,” Bale continued. “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. Obviously the football they play, the team they are is amazing and it's just great to be there.”
Bale also talked about his early days at Southampton. The versatile attacking midfielder revealed there was a time when he feared nagging injuries would take over his football career. Bale thanked Southampton for putting faith in him, which became the reason for him completing his dream move.
“It was quite difficult,” Bale 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.”