Gareth Bale still considers himself a Tottenham fan

Gareth Bale has often been linked with a return to Tottenham from Real Madrid and he still recognises himself as a fan.

Gareth Bale in action for Tottenham in 2012   -  Getty Images

Real Madrid star Gareth Bale still considers himself a Tottenham fan and was disappointed by its Champions League final heartbreak last June.

Wales forward Bale departed Spurs for the Santiago Bernabeu in a reported GBP 86 million deal in September 2013 and has gone on to win the Champions League four times, as well as a La Liga title and Copa del Rey medal.

Bale has endured a tricky relationship with head coach Zinedine Zidane, though, and has often been linked with an exit, while a move to Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning collapsed in July.

A return to Tottenham has also been mooted and Bale clearly still has love for the club he played for between 2007 and 2013, describing his sadness at their defeat to Liverpool in last season's European showpiece.

'Disappointing'

"Everybody loves tuning in to watch the Champions League final, and obviously Tottenham were there so I had a very keen interest, I was hoping they'd get to the final like they did," Bale told BT Sport.

"They had some great matches on the way, obviously in the semifinal [against Ajax]. For us Tottenham fans it was a bit disappointing in the final, but you have to look at the bigger picture. They did great to get there and gave a good account of themselves."

Bale has several Champions League moments to savour, including winning the trophy in Cardiff and scoring a wonderful overhead kick against Liverpool in the 2018 final in Kiev. For Bale, though, scoring and beating Atletico Madrid to clinch La Decima six years ago remains his favourite.

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"They all have their own special moments. The first one is always so special because I'd never won a trophy before and you don't know the experience, excitement and euphoria you get from lifting the trophy," he added.

"Winning in my home city was an incredible moment for me personally because not many people get to do that.

"Then the last final [against Liverpool] I played in I scored that goal and for it to be the winning goal was also special.

"It's difficult to pick one but in terms of the overall experience I'd go for the first one because it was the first final and I didn't expect what was coming, the nerves of it and how we won it in the last minute.

"The celebrations were something I'd never experienced before. Everything was just new, so it was really exciting and it made it so special."

Strict lockdown

Nearly all of European football remains suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic and Bale opened up on the tough lockdown measures in Spain. He said: "It's quite a strict lockdown, we can't go out at all, can't go out for a walk or exercise or anything. It's very strict, but I guess we're all doing it for the greater good.

"Everyone wants to play football, but the most important thing is everyone stays safe, we don't come back too early and we make sure everything is done safely so we avoid the second wave of this virus.

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"The difficult thing, you hear everyone saying they want to get the season finished and do this and that. But you need to look at the bigger picture, the most important thing is everyone's health.

"With football, everyone misses it and wants to play, everyone wants to watch. But the bigger picture is there will be many more seasons of football, Champions Leagues, leagues and cups, the important thing is getting this right now, if we can get that right, it'll make football last much longer in the future and we won't have a problem like this in the future."

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