Gareth Bale is in love with football again, Wales assistant coach Robert Page says


The assistant manager of Wales national team, Robert Page, says the country’s football icon, Gareth Bale, has “fallen back in love with” football since he returned to Tottenham Hotspur.

Gareth Bale who left Tottenham Hotspur for Real Madrid in 2013 for a then world transfer record fee worth €101 million, returned to the club on loan from Madrid during the 2020 transfer window.

He had a terrible 2019-2020 season at Real Madrid, where he managed to make just 20 appearances in all competitions mostly from the bench. His lack of game-time at the club last season sparked a series of speculations. One of such was that Bale and the current manager of Madrid, Zinedine Zidane, were having a private feud.

Though the world couldn’t confirm that any feud existed between them, Zidane and indeed most fans of Madrid were not happy that the Welshman was putting the game of golf which he plays for leisure ahead of his football career at Madrid. This belief forced some fans of the club to always boo him during live games.

All these put together, eclipsed the fact that the 31-year-old football icon has scored 105 goals and provided 68 assists in 251 appearances for Madrid and has helped the club to win 4 UEFA Champions League titles and two La Liga titles in 6 years.

So, he needed a breath of fresh air, and the club that decided to give him that was the club where he first made his name, Tottenham Hotspur. Since he returned to the club in June 2020, he has made 6 appearances, scored a goal, and provided an assist.

Wales assistant coach Robert Page and Gareth Bale.
Wales assistant coach Robert Page and Gareth Bale.

Though Bale was rested in Wales friendly match against the United States of America on November 12 which ended in a goalless draw, the assistant coach of Wales national team, Page, said Bale looks like a player that is enjoying “his football” again.

“He loves coming away with Wales. He loves it”, Page told BBC Sports. “As long as I’ve been involved he’s never missed a camp, other than the recent one [in October] through injury.

“He’s first through the doors, loves being part of it and he has a spring in his step when he comes on camp – and that’s exactly what I’ve seen in the past couple of days.

“Now being at a place like Tottenham, he has a manager who wants him there and wants him to play week in, week out – or they are building him up to that where he plays 90 minutes consistently.

“We’ve now got a player on our hands that has fallen back in love with the game and is enjoying his football. Hopefully, we will reap the rewards of that as well.

“The older you get, you do lose a little bit of sharpness. I experienced that myself as a player. I have not seen any evidence of that in the last two days of training. Some of the things I saw yesterday [Friday] was the other way. He’s looking just as sharp, bright, and powerful.

“He’s in great shape and some of the things he did in training yesterday you took a step back. It was great to watch.”

Gareth Bale could be on parade against Ireland, today, November 15, in the UEFA Nations League Group 4B match. A win in the match which will take place at 18:00 will cement Wales’s first spot standing on the group table.


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