Gareth Bale 'hungry' to help Tottenham end trophy wait after completing loan from Real Madrid

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Gareth Bale has said he is "hungry" to help Tottenham Hotspur end their 12-year wait for a trophy and believes his title-winning experience at Real Madrid will prove valuable to the Premier League club.

Bale completed a loan switch back to Spurs on Saturday, seven years after leaving for Madrid in a then world-record fee of £85 million.

The 31-year-old Welsh forward won four Champions League titles, two La Ligas and a Copa del Rey - where he scored a memorable winner against Barcelona in the final - with the Spanish giants.

However, Bale has been frozen out by Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane, who had hoped to move the Wales captain on last summer before a deal to China fell through.

The former Southampton winger made just two appearances for Madrid after football's return from the coronavirus lockdown and did not even travel for Real's Champions League exit to Manchester City in June.

Bale has now got his move back to his former club and he believes the time is right for a new challenge.

"I always thought when I did leave that one day I would love to come back, and the opportunity has now arisen," Bale told the Tottenham website. "I feel like it's a good fit, it's a good time for me, I'm hungry, I'm motivated, I want to do well and can't wait to get started."

While Bale has been busy filling his trophy cabinet as a Madrid player, Tottenham's attempts at clinching their first silverware since the 2008 League Cup have fallen short.

Having been there and done it so many times, Bale believes that experience can give Spurs something extra in their pursuit of trophies.

"I think by going to Madrid, winning trophies and going far with the national team, I feel like I have that winning mentality, how to win trophies," he said.

"You don't realise until you are there, in those situations, in finals, and knowing how to deal with those situations, the nerves, the pressure, and that all comes with experience.

"Hopefully, I'll bring that to the dressing room, bring that belief that we can win a trophy, and the time to do that is this season, and not just one, to be fighting on every front possible. I want to bring that mentality back to Tottenham."

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Gareth Bale's best goals for Real Madrid

September 2013: Villarreal v Real Madrid – debut goal. After the start to his Real Madrid career was disrupted by injury, Gareth Bale scored his first goal for his new club against Villarreal in a La Liga game at El Madrigal Stadium. Getty

November 2013: Real Madrid v Real Valldolid – the perfect hat-trick. Bale started to realise the demands of Real Madrid fans after being criticised for his display in the Clasico defeat to Barcelona in October. He responded by going on a red-hot run of goalscoring form, which included his first Madrid treble in a 4-0 win over Valladolid. It was a perfect hat-trick, too: left foot, right foot, header. Getty

April 2014: Real Madrid v Barcelona - Copa del Rey final winner. The crowning moment of Bale’s debut season at Real Madrid. With the score level at 1-1, Bale scored one of the greatest goals in Spanish football history, burning Barcelona defender Marc Bartra for pace, sprinting half the pitch, before sliding the ball home for an 85th minute winner. Getty

May 2014: Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid - Champions League final goal. Bale stepped up once again on the biggest of stages. After the Champions League final seemed to be heading to penalties, Bale scored to give Real Madrid a 2-1 lead in extra time. Real went on to win 4-1 and claim their 10th European Cup. Getty

December 2014: Real Madrid v San Lorenzo - Club World Cup final goal. In a season blighted by more injury problems, Bale scored in his third major final for Real Madrid, netting the second in a 2-0 win over San Lorenzo to win the Fifa Club World Cup. Getty

December 2015: Real Madrid v Rayo Vallecano - four-goal haul. Bale produced the most prolific performance of his Real Madrid career when he scored four goals in a 10-2 thrashing of Rayo Vallecano in La Liga. Three weeks later, he scored another hat-trick in a 5-0 win over Deportivo. Getty

May 2018: Real Madrid v Liverpool - Champions League final match-winner. Bale was finding himself increasingly marginalised by Zidane and was among the substitutes for the Champions League final against Liverpool. Called off the bench with the score at 1-1, Bale scored one of the greatest goals in Champions League history with a spectacular overhead kick. He scored again to steer Madrid to a 3-1 win and their third successive European Cup. Getty

December 2018: Fifa Club World Cup - player of the tournament. After the exit of Zidane, Bale resumed a more important role under eventual successor Santiago Solari and was central to Madrid’s Club World Cup triumph in Abu Dhabi. He scored a hat-trick in the semi-final against Kashima Antlers before Madrid beat Al Ain in the final. He was named player of the tournament. Getty

February 2019: Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid - 100th goal. On February 9, 2019 Bale became just the 15th player in Real Madrid’s history to score 100 goals for the club when he struck in a 3-1 win away to city rivals Atletico. Bale has since moved on to 102 goals, placing him 14th on Madrid’s all-time list. Getty

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Tottenham will reportedly pay half of Bale's €30 million (Dh130.5m) salary for the season, with Madrid covering the rest.

He will wear the No 9 shirt and form an exciting front-three with England captain Harry Kane and South Korea's Son Heung-min.

Jose Mourinho's men are badly in need of a lift after failing to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in five years last season and starting their new Premier League campaign with a dispiriting 1-0 home defeat to Everton.

At Spurs, Bale is still remembered as one of the club's all-time greats.

He twice won Premier League Players' Player of the Year during his first spell at the side, which saw him score 56 goals in 203 appearances and lure Madrid into paying a record-breaking price for his services.

"This is such a special club to me. It's where I made my name," he said. "What an amazing club, amazing fans, and it's just incredible to be back. Hopefully now I can get some match fitness, help the team and win trophies."

Tottenham confirmed Bale will not be fit until late October due to a knee injury picked up playing for Wales earlier this month.

Reguilon also arrives

Spanish international left-back Sergio Reguilon also made a permanent move from Madrid to Tottenham on Saturday for a reported €30m.

Reguilon heads to London after starring while on loan for Europa League winners Sevilla last season.

Madrid, though, will reportedly retain a buy-back option on the 23-year-old for the next two seasons.

"Tottenham have world-class players and a world-class coach, and I want to work with them," said Reguilon.

"I think that I'm coming to the best and most difficult league in the world. I'm excited about this adventure."

Updated: September 20, 2020 09:06 AM

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