Bale considers retiring after Real Madrid return
The Welshman has used his time at Tottenham to prepare for the Euros with Wales. His idea is to play for Real Madrid and then retire from football.
When Real Madrid and Gareth Bale decided to part ways briefly in 2020, both sides did so with compelling reasons and conviction. Los Blancos, to cut costs, due to the pandemic (Bale's salary is €30 million gross per year) and the Welshman, because he wanted game time ahead of this summer's European Championship with Wales.
It was a risky move because Madrid did not have many options in attack. The winger was under pressure to return to the same high performance level at a club where he initially exploded, before earning a move to Real Madrid. Bale has only started 10 out of 37 Premier League games to date.
The start of Bale's second stint at Tottenham began badly with an injury that kept him on the sidelines until the fifth Premier League matchday and it was not until matchday 24 (February) that he made more than two consecutive appearances. To avoid any fears of recurring muscle injuries, the Welshman drew up a training plan whereby he did not workout more than three days a week, one of which was used for recovery work.
The panic of a relapse was not only expressed at Spurs' Enfield Training Centre. As AS understands, the striker was not attracted by the idea of playing three games a week. In fact, this season he has rarely played three games when the team has been involved in midweek and Premier League action. Nor has he been seen in the most demanding games in England and where he was supposed to emerge as a leader, such as in games against Manchester City, Chelsea, United or Liverpool. His best displays came against lowly opposition (Brighton, Burnley, Crystal Palace, Southampton and Sheffield United) and teams in the Europa League (Wolfsberger and LASK).
Mason confirms Bale's approach
Tottenham's new manager, Ryan Mason, confirmed on Wednesday after losing to Aston Villa that Bale plays when it suits him best. "Gareth is an experienced man and knows his body. We spoke to each other and he thought it was best for him and his fitness not to start today," he said after the Madrid man played 89 minutes against Wolves last Sunday, his most minutes on the pitch since returning to England.
Early retirement for Bale
The 31-year-old has made no secret in the dressing room that he intends to push his fitness to the limit, always putting the European Championship first, and he has also made no secret of his intention to return to Real Madrid this summer to complete the remaining year of his contract at the new Santiago Bernabéu and then retire from football, as this newspaper has learned.
So for now, the Bale's mind is not focused on another adventure when his time is up at Madrid at the age of 33. It remains to be seen if Gareth Bale hangs up his boots in 2022, but whatever happens, he will be first focused on Wales in next month's European Championship.