‘I am not like them’ – Bale discusses why he was an anomaly at Real Madrid

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Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Gareth Bale has hit out at the Spanish press, insisting that he was a victim of the media because of his quiet and discreet nature.

Bale is set to return to Real Madrid after ending his season-long loan spell at Tottenham in style with a well-taken brace against Leicester City.

It has been a strange season for the Welshman, whose return to Spurs was met with huge fanfare last summer but he found himself being widely written off by the press a few months into the campaign.

However, the 31-year-old has ended the season with an impressive tally of 16 goals in all competitions, demonstrating that he remains a threat in the final third.

Bale admitted after Spurs’ win over Leicester that he had already decided whether he would see out the final year of his contract at Real Madrid or move elsewhere next season but refused to reveal what his decision was.

He certainly did not seem to enjoy his final few years at Madrid, often being on the receiving end of some scathing attacks by the Spanish press.

Bale insisted that it was his unwillingness to live the high-profile life of a ‘Galactico’ that made him a target for journalists during his time at Madrid.

He told The Times (as relayed by Diario AS): “I think that what annoyed the press, and I know for a fact that this was the case, was that I did not act as I was supposed to but, the truth is, I am not going to change for anyone.

“I’m not going to let the press change my life or the way I do things, and I think that, for that reason, I took extra stick, but I accepted it.”

There was a lot said and written about Bale’s unwillingness to learn Spanish but the Wales international insisted that it was an issue that the press needlessly picked on.

He added: “I speak well enough to defend myself and I understand all the what’s going on around me.

“What really bothered the press was that I didn’t talk to them, so they made up a huge drama, a soap opera about me not being able to do this or that.

“The issue is that in Madrid they expect you to be a galactico, that is, to do what they have seen other players do before, and, to be honest, surely I am not like them.

“I like to be with my people and be discreet while there are many others who like to go out and, well…not show off, but build their brand so to speak.

“They’re the ones who go to these red carpet events. I’ve never been like that. I like to play football, go home and be a normal person.

“In Spain, football is very magnified. Everything you do at Real Madrid is magnified, and that means you have cameras around you 24/7. It takes getting used to.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Bale certainly does not sound like someone who is keen on returning to Madrid. The fact that Zidane has not resigned makes it extremely likely that he will return to Spurs next season if it is true that we have the option to extend the loan deal.

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