Mourinho mocks Real Madrid while discussing "remarkable" Gareth Bale
Jose Mourinho took aim at Real Madrid's "organisation" and pointed to the club's Champions League successes following Bale's arrival after years of underachievement.
After several troubled years at Madrid and a fallout with coach Zinedine Zidane, Bale made the loan switch to former club Tottenham, where Mourinho said he soon expects the 31-year-old to hit the ground running.
“We all have not just the feeling but also the data that Bale is arriving,” the Tottenham coach said.
“He’s working very hard. He’s been quite a great example for everybody. A big guy like him travelled to Burnley, stayed on the bench for 90 minutes, didn’t play one minute. His behaviour as a team guy is incredible. His behaviour as a Tottenham man is remarkable and he is coming.”
Mourinho aims subtle dig at Real Madrid
After confirming that Bale would start against Antwerp on Thursday, Mourinho appeared to take a sly dig at Real Madrid, where the Welsh striker had been struggling for his place under Zidane for quite some time.
"I think he is very pleased with the level of organisation we have in the club," Mourinho said. "Probably he is not used to it.”
Asked about Bale’s reputation at Madrid, Mourinho pointed to the Spanish club’s Champions League successes following the Welshman’s arrival in 2013, a couple of months after the Portuguese coach himself had left the club following a three-year stint at the Bernabéu.
“One thing is reputation, another thing is facts. I would love to have his reputation and four Champions League. I have only two. So, the facts with Gareth are that he made a difference at that club," said Mourinho.
"[It] was a club for years and years and years and years, without even a quarter-final of a Champions League. Then, a big jump in front with three consecutive Champions League semi-finals. And when he arrived, they won four in five. So, for me, these are the facts. And him with us? Amazing.”
Bale’s start at Tottenham
Bale has so far not enjoyed the ideal return to North London. Having initially arrived with a knee injury, Bale was singled out by the press after Spurs squandered a 3-0 lead against West Ham following the Wales international’s introduction with 18 minutes left in the game.
He then played 38 minutes in the 3-0 win against LASK, where he managed one assist, although his overall performance was under par. Now the 31-year-old finally looks set to make his first start for the club against Antwerp, where he will look to quieten his naysayers.
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