‘Welsh Wizard’ Gareth Bale has discussed Real Madrid’s upcoming Champions League fixtures against Tottenham Hotspur, where Bale himself enjoyed an iconic 6-year stay.
The 28 year old, who was a near-legend at White Hart Lane under Harry Redknapp and Andre Villas Boas, scored 42 goals in over 140 appearances for Spurs and most famously netted a hat-trick at the San Siro in a 4-3 defeat to Inter Milan during Tottenham’s debut season in the Champions League in 2011.
Now however Bale will likely take to the field against his former club no less than twice in the coming months, having Spurs and Real Madrid both been drawn into group H of this season’s Champions League.
October 17th will be the first time Bale has faced his former side in a competitive fixture since he swapped London for Madrid in 2013, in what was at the time, a world-record breaking transfer worth roughly £86 million.
Bale has faced Spurs once before, but only in a pre-season friendly back in 2015, where the winger scored a goal in a 2-0 win for the Spanish giants.
Speaking to The Daily Mail, Bale recalled the experience, while specifically mentioning his decision not to celebrate the goal.
“I scored against Spurs in a pre-season game a couple of years ago and I didn’t really celebrate then.” He said. “I suppose it depends on how you feel on the day.”
“If it’s a 91st minute winner, can you control yourself? That’s the question.”
The return fixture at the Santiago Bernabeu takes place on November 1st, little under two months away from now, but the pacey forward was insistent that his anticipation to play the game has been growing from the moment the draw was made.
“I was in a meeting when the draw was made,” He added. “And my phone was going off constantly and I thought: something’s happened!”
“I remember playing against Real Madrid when I was still at Tottenham and Crouchie being sent off after only 15 minutes and that killed the game for us.”
“All my friends are still Tottenham fans. That is their main team in the Premier League and I will certainly have a lot of ticket requests.”
With Tottenham hosting matches at their temporary home Wembley, Bale revealed his regret at not being able to return to the famous old stadium White Hart Lane, that was demolished in May to make way for the new stadium currently under construction.
“There are mixed feelings that it will not be White Hart Lane,” He explained. “It’s an advantage for Real Madrid but going back would have been special.”
“It was that typical old style British stadium. The fans were on top of you and the atmosphere stayed in. It’s a big difference to the new stadiums where it’s harder to generate the same sort of noise.”
“It’s going to be a big miss for them but with modern football I suppose other things are taken into consideration, clubs have to maximise their revenue and they can’t just think about what arena makes for the best atmosphere for the players to play in.”