Opinion: Were Gareth Bale’s comments disrespectful or just poorly worded?

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Gareth Bale’s recent comments in an interview while on international duty with Wales revealed his intentions to return to Real Madrid at the end of the current season… or did they?

The Welshman declared that his move to Spurs was powered by his motivation to stay fit and active before the upcoming European Championship.

The interview in question ended by Bale simply stating “My plan is to go back, that’s as far I have planned” (BBC Sport).

The reaction from Spurs fans across the globe has been, in my opinion, slightly reactionary. The whole interview, when I viewed it, seemed to be more like a poorly worded PR statement.

These type of interviews have to be carefully worded by players and agents etc. I think, in this case, the choice of words is what has led many fans to turn their backs on the Spurs icon.

Many of us, myself included, took this interview to mean that Bale had shown a lack of respect for the club and merely used us to revive his dwindling career. Were we really just a stepping stone to get his fitness levels up before his appearances at the Euros?

We need to remember that Bale is very patriotic and takes his national duty very seriously, and with good reason.

It is the highest honour to represent your country and it is completely understandable that the 31-year-old wants to be at his very best when representing them.

Looking at the final sentence again, I interpret this as Bale saying that he is focusing on the now and not looking too far ahead into the future.

Words can be twisted by the media to mean dozens of things. I think Bale has tried to avoid this by simply stating that he is not focusing too far into the future but keeping his mind in the present.

We see all players do this when speculation comes up on their future. The classic phrase to turn to is ‘I am enjoying my football and focusing on being the best I can for *insert club here*, whatever the future is I am only focusing on the present’ – or an answer along those lines.

This is what I think Bale aimed for but essentially worded his answer awfully. He is simply stating facts, his loan move to Tottenham runs out at the end of the season and he is due to return to Madrid at the end of this loan.

Whether we like it or not, these are the facts and I do not believe Levy has entered into negotiations with Madrid about extending Bale’s loan.

As it stands he is due to return at the end of the season and he has tried to downplay speculation of his return to Tottenham for next season in a bid to keep the focus on Wales.

When he stated that it was sometimes nice to get away from club football and reset, he merely meant that sometimes it can help players to have a week away from an out of form club to reset their minds, return, and improve the form.

I think we need to wait till the European Championship ends and then see what Tottenham, Madrid and Bale decide as currently we can only speculate as to what is going through the minds of the player and two clubs.

The full clip of the interview can be found at B/R Football.

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