- Premier League
Real target Bale admits attraction to Spanish football
Tottenham Hotspur star and Real Madrid target Gareth Bale has spoken of his huge admiration for Spanish football.
Bale was named both the PFA and Football Writers' Association's Player of the Year in May after a season in which he scored 21 Premier League goals. However, his repeated match-winning feats were not enough to seal a top-four place for Spurs.
That led to increased speculation that the Welshman could leave the North London club rather than play another season in the Europa League, with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez open in his admiration for the player.
The Wales international himself admits that the style and high standard of football in La Liga greatly impresses him, and that he would like to try his hand in a major foreign league one day.
"I probably prefer Spanish football to the others," he told Esquire's August issue. "It's very technical the way they play, they keep the ball well and whenever Spurs have played against Spanish teams in the past they've always made it difficult for us.
"So I'd say that Spanish football is probably the best I've seen. Obviously, I'd like to try other leagues in the future. Every player would like to get as high as they can and try different things. It's something that the future holds and it's something that I'm very interested to try in the least."
Bale added that he revels in the "end-to-end" nature of football in the Champions League compared to facing more defensively minded teams in the Premier League and that the appeal of Europe's premier club competition - both in terms of the quality of opposition and the sense of occasion - is huge.
"When you play in the Premier League against a lower-end team, they set up to defend all the time," the 23-year-old said in further quotes published in The Sun. "They set up to block you off.
"But when you play in the Champions League, all the teams are used to winning every week so it's more of an open attacking game, it's end-to-end.
"The music is a massive thing. When we first got into the Champions League, it was one of the things most of the lads were looking forward to, hearing it in the stadium.
"It's things like that which make it special."