Real Madrid star Gareth Bale has revealed that ahead of his record transfer move to the Spanish side, he spoke with former players of the club in David Beckham and Steve McManaman.
The Welsh star told The Sun that he was keen on avoiding the mistakes that other English players made in Spain.
Bale moved to Real Madrid from Premier League side Tottenham Hotspurs in 2013 for a world record fee of €101 million. Bale has gone on to be a success in Spain, winning five titles – La Liga title, two Champions League and Copa del Rey titles. He has scored 67 goals in 143 games.
“My mindset was to stay as long as I can. I read Mark Hughes saying that when he came over he was already thinking about going home. He never settled in to life in Barcelona. Michael Owen in Madrid, too,” Bale explained.
“I spoke to Beckham and McManaman, tried to do my research about what people had done wrong before and tried not to make those mistakes. Apart from a little blip in the middle, I’ve felt very settled,” Bale added.
The Welsh star added that he would stay at the club for “a long time” though he said he was most comfortable at the Bernabeu last season. The player started slowly, with injuries here and there aside the fans’ ridicule. He has been linked, for a long time now, to a possible return to England with Manchester United, Man City and Chelsea being potential employers.
Bale signed a new deal last year that would tie him down in Spain until 2022.
“I’ve made the decision to stay, to see out my contract and maybe longer. I’ve never had a real feeling to go back because when I start something I hate not finishing it,” he added.