Bale: “Amazing Club, amazing fans, it’s incredible to be back”
Sat 19 September 2020, 18:48|Tottenham Hotspur
Grinning from ear to ear, Gareth Bale pulled our famous white shirt over his head again for the first time in seven years.
“I’m so happy to have this shirt on again,” beamed the Welsh star, number nine on his back, after completing a deal to re-join us on a season-long loan from Real Madrid.
He first wore it all the way back in August, 2007, when he made his debut at Old Trafford. Six years later, he left us for the Bernabeu and a world-record fee, having scored 55 goals in 203 appearances, lighting up Europe with his performances in the Champions League in 2010/11.
He’s won the lot with Los Blancos – including four Champions Leagues and two La Liga titles – but you just felt it was in the script that maybe, just maybe, he’d return to Spurs one day.
And here he is...
“It’s nice to be back!” he said. “This is such a special Club to me. It’s where I made my name. What an amazing Club, amazing fans, and it’s just incredible to be back. Hopefully now I can get some match fitness, help the team and win trophies.
“I always thought when I did leave that one day I would love to come back, and the opportunity has now arisen. I feel like it’s a good fit, it’s a good time for me, I’m hungry, I’m motivated, I want to do well and can’t wait to get started.”
Seven years. In many ways, that trademark 30-yarder into the top corner to beat Sunderland in his final appearance back in May, 2013, seems like yesterday.
Now 31, Gareth left us as one of the hottest properties in world football, and he’s delivered. All the trophies, both team and individual, scoring in two Champions League Finals, including one of the all-time great goals against Liverpool in 2018, spearheading Wales’ qualification for Euro 2016 – their first major tournament since 1958 – and their subsequent run to the semi-finals. He now has 33 goals in 85 appearances for his country.
When he departed, he was the young star of the dressing room, just 24. Now, he brings all that experience, and a senior role.
He added: “I think by going to Madrid, winning trophies and going far with the national team, I feel like I have that winning mentality, how to win trophies.
“You don’t realise until you are there, in those situations, in finals, and knowing how to deal with those situations, the nerves, the pressure, and that all comes with experience.
“Hopefully, I’ll bring that to the dressing room, bring that belief that we can win a trophy, and the time to do that is this season, and not just one, to be fighting on every front possible. I want to bring that mentality back to Tottenham.
“Let’s enjoy ourselves along the way as well.”