Joe Hart believes Gareth Bale has been hurt by the way his Real Madrid career has panned out in recent seasons, after spending a year playing alongside him at Tottenham. 

The Welsh winger has gone down as one of the most decorated sportsmen in British history, winning four Champions League trophies and two LaLiga titles since moving to Madrid in 2013. 

However, things have soured between the club and Bale with the 32-year-old’s availability lessening after numerous injuries. 

He eventually secured a sensational return to Tottenham on loan last season where he became teammates with Hart, who arrived as the club’s back-up goalkeeper that same summer. 

In that time, the former England international learned how Bale’s injury concerns massively affected his confidence, but saw first-hand why he will always be idolised at Spurs.  

Hart told the In The Stiffs podcast: “Laidback is an understatement but in there he is protecting himself. 

“He’s definitely been hurt by what has gone on at Real Madrid. Anyone would be – the guy is a legend, a superstar, and for some unknown reason to anyone the whole place turned on him and that hurt Gaz.

“He was a bit off it, injuries and that, but there were days you could tell he felt comfortable with his body. He’s very aware of feelings and he knows, he’s come to a point in his career where he’s not going to rip a hamstring for anyone.

“He’s exceptional, there were days where, phwoar… he wasn’t starting games but then something happened and he started feeling comfortable in his body.”

Bale scored 11 goals in the Premier League despite starting just 10 games, including 16 in all competitions (Transfermarkt). 

His return to Madrid has seen him used sparsely by Carlo Ancelotti, having only made just five appearances all season. 

Spurs Web Opinion 

Bale has turned into a villain in Madrid with plenty of the club’s fans unhappy with how things have panned out. 

Injuries have affected him both physically and mentally, and that could explain why he wasn’t used as much on his second Spurs stint. 

But when he was on it, as Hart mentioned, you could see that he was still a star player and he won the club a decent amount of points in a limited time. 

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