Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale has admitted that he is now in a ‘happier place’ after his season-long loan at Tottenham Hotspur.
The 32-year-old has also insisted that he ‘never planned’ to retire from football this summer, despite the rumours circulating during Euro 2020, where he starred for Wales.
Bale’s future was up in the air over the summer, with a welcome return to Real Madrid seemingly impossible, and another spell in north London in doubt. However, Carlo Ancelotti’s reappointment at the Bernabeu has revived the Welshman’s Merengues career.
Bale has started all three of Madrid’s La Liga fixtures this season, largely thanks to his ‘great relationship’ with the Italian coach. In an interview with BBC Sport, the forward has confessed that he’s now content in Spain, after a successful loan spell with Spurs.
“I’ve always had a great relationship with Carlo, but it’s still the same in the sense that you have to forget that and give your all for the team,” Bale said.
“I had a good pre-season and a good start to the season, and it’s always nice to be in a good environment. That’s the main reason I went to Tottenham, as I knew it would be a good environment for me. It was a break I needed at the time, and I had a great time.
“It got me back to a happier place, and I think that showed again when I played for Wales at Euro 2020 and when I returned to Madrid this season.”
He also addressed the rumours that he was set to retire from football after Euro 2020, which caused him to storm off mid-interview following a defeat to Denmark. Bale maintained that he purely intended to ‘concentrate on the job in hand’ over the summer, and ‘never planned to finish.’
“For me it was better not to say anything and concentrate on the job in hand,” said Bale.
“I never planned to finish. Like I said before, I just wanted to concentrate on the Euros and didn’t want to explain myself. I didn’t feel like I needed to. I still don’t feel like I need to.
“No matter what I said I was going to do whether I was going to stay, leave, retire or whatever, I think it would have caused a big and annoying story and a distracting story.”
Bale will return to Madrid action at the end of the international break, as he aims to help Wales in their bid to qualify for the 2022 World Cup.