Former Tottenham star, Gareth Bale, has opened up on why he had to leave North London when Real Madrid came calling despite loving his time with the Lilywhites.
Bale arrived at Spurs in the summer of 2007 and picked up an injury which ruled him out for the majority of his first season at the club. He struggled to break into the team after his return from injury and had the unenviable record of going 24 games without a win.
However, his career eventually took off after he was moved from left-back to left-wing by Harry Redknapp and the Welshman never looked back.
He hit even greater heights under Andre Villas-Boas when the Portuguese coach gave him the freedom to play up front.
His brilliant form eventually earned him a move to Real Madrid and he went on to win the La Liga title, the Copa del Rey, and four Champions League titles.
Speaking about his time at Spurs, the former Spurs star told the Hat-Trick Podcast (as relayed by Football.London): “I loved my time at Tottenham, the fans were incredible, the club treated me amazingly. I was enjoying it but when one of the biggest clubs in the world comes after you, you want to take that opportunity.
“Tottenham were progressing, the start of trying to get to the next level which we did. Then it took them a few years to get to the next level.
“Tottenham have kept growing which is fantastic to see, they’re still growing with the new training ground, new stadium and getting to the Champions League final.”
The winger also credited both Redknapp and Villas-Boas for helping him mature into the player he is. He added: “Harry Redknapp was good, he let you do what you wanted to get the best out of you.
“AVB [Andre Villas-Boas] I had a really good relationship with. He said ‘you have the licence to go where you want, right, middle, left’. It made me feel like I could score whenever I wanted.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Andre Villas-Boas’ role in Bale’s development is still a little underrated. Under AVB, the Welshman became much more intelligent in the spaces he occupied and at conserving his energy for crucial moments in the final third. I still believe that the last season he had under AVB was the best of his career from an individual standpoint.
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