For a player who can be quite frugal with his words, Gareth Bale is very concise when answeing questions. In an interview published in the print edition of today's El País the Real Madrid player admitted that it was a mistake to try and bring forward his return from injury so that he could make the Champions League final in his hometown, Cardiff.
Overall balance on your four years at Real Madrid: "I hope the best is still to come. But yes, I've enjoyed so great moments and other, not so great ones".
It's difficult being on the sidelines, says Bale
Forcing your comeback to be at the Champions League final: "In one way it's easy to say that I should have rested more. But when you are out injured and you see your team mates playing, the only thing you want is to get back playing yourself. Now I realize that maybe I should have taken my time to make sure I fully recovered - that would have allowed me to play to my best and to be able to do all of the things that I was unable to do when my ankle was still sore".
Zidane, the cool, calm football lover
What's Zidane like? "He's very calm. He's someone who really enjoys his football. He's exactly the same as the person you see in front of the cameras. When we attack, he likes us to express ourselves. But when we defend, he wants the whole team to defend as one. He wants us to defend together, and for us to help each other out".
Do you get upset by the criticism you receive? "(Laughs) No, never. It's all just opinions. They have to sell newspapers somehow and they need to write something... I'm used to people writing nice things and bad things... It's nothing something which worries me.
What's the hardest part of being a footballer? "Travelling a lot, being away from you family so often; living in a different country. You want to be close to you family and friends... but you have to spend a lot of time away from home, travelling. And after that, it's take a while to actually recover from all of those trips".
Good health is the greatest thing in life, says Bale
Your biggest virtue: "I don't know. I think that while I'm healthy and my family and friends are as well, and that they are happy, that's all I ask for, nothing more".
Biggest defect: "I'm quite lazy. That's probably the best answer".
What makes you happy? "Being healthy makes me happy. To not have any injuries and to be able to play".