There was some surprise when Gareth Bale left Tottenham for Real Madrid two summers ago. The player had always been linked with the Bernabeu club, but many felt he was too young to be leaving England and playing for the biggest team in the world. The move turned out alright, with Bale winning the Champions League in his first season.
Now the Welsh captain has revealed that it was only his special affection for Real that saw him leave Spurs. He says that he was very happy at White Hart Lane and would have gladly stayed there for a few more seasons. However, when Real Madrid, Florentino Perez and Zidane call you up and ask you to move clubs, it is difficult to say no.
Bale grew up a Real fan, which makes his statements entirely believable. There are even pictures of him wearing a Real top as a young boy. His summer transfer to the Spanish team was not without complications. There was a time when it looked as though Spurs may hold on to their man, but the deal eventually got done.
In the process of joining Real, Bale also turned down Manchester United, which Terry Richardson still laments. The then English champions made him a larger offer than Real, both in terms of transfer fee and wages. However, Bale stuck to his guns and said he only wanted Real. Now it appears that in a straight choice between United and Spurs, he would have stayed at Spurs.