Gareth Bale has credited Harry Redknapp for his turnaround in fortunes, having gone from a potential Championship loan move to Champions League match-winner in 12 months.
Bale has become one of the most sought-after talents in recent months, after his destruction of Inter Milan and has scooped the Welsh footballer of the year award, whilst also making the shortlist for the FIFA team of the year.
And he has lavished praise on his manager for helping turn him into one of the most dangerous wingers in the world.
“Looking back on some things, I think ‘Wow’. A year ago I did not think I would be doing stuff like that.
“It did take a while for me to hold down a first-team spot at Tottenham – and longer than I expected it would.
“I had a lot of injuries and was out for eight months with my foot injury and six months with my knee injury.
“But I don’t think I ever thought my future lay elsewhere.
“When i wasn’t playing, I went to see the manager and to ask when was I going to be given my chance.
“There were a lot of things the manager wanted me to do and there were certain aspects of my game I needed to improve on.
“He wanted me to toughen up, as I was still a young boy at the time.
“So I worked hard in training to prove to him that I was worthy of a spot in the team.
“He always said, ‘Be patient and keep working hard in training and you will get your chance.’
“So I was always confident, I just had to be prepared and ready to give 100% when the chance came. And I got my chance and never looked back.
“I have always had the belief in my own ability, so I knew if I trained hard and was patient, things would happen for me.
“But I feel the main reason for my good form is playing week in week out, playing regularly is the best way for me to improve – and in every game I’m learning and growing in confidence.
“If someone had said to me a year ago that i would one day be described as one of the best players in the Premier League and best left-sided players in teh world, I would not have believed them.
“But I try to keep myself away from what is written and said about me.
“I know there was a lot going on after the Inter Milan games and there was a lot of talk – but I switched off to that and concentrated on training.
“I must keep my feet on the ground and continue progressing. I must keep working as hard as hard work is the reason why I’ve had a good year.”
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