Monday, October 31, 2016

Bad Real Madrid season made Bale 'grow up'

Gareth Bale has admitted to having had a "difficult journey" at Real Madrid after signing a new six-year contract.

The 27-year-old Wales forward was heavily criticised in his second season at Real, but bounced back last season with 19 goals in 31 games as the Spanish club won the Champions

"I had one season where it wasn't the best but that made me grow up as a player and person," he said.

"It made me learn to deal with whatever is thrown at me." Bale joined Real from Tottenham Hotspur on a six-year deal in 2013 for £85m, a world record transfer fee at the time.

He helped the club win the Champions League in his first season, scoring in the final against Atletico Madrid. But in 2014-15, he was booed by his own fans and attacked by the Spanish media, despite scoring 17 goals.

"In football you have good seasons and bad seasons, there was no real turning point," he said. "Sometimes things go for
you, sometimes they don't. If things are going bad and you keep working hard, things will turn around eventually.

"I understand with media you'll get good and bad press. But if you take too much notice  you'll put yourself down."

Bale's contract is reportedly worth £600,000 per week, £350,000 after tax - which would make him the highest paid footballer in the world.

When he was asked what his new salary was, he laughed, considered his answer and said: "That's for me to know and no-one else to find out. Sorry."

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