Bale: I would consider playing abroad
Tottenham winger Gareth Bale has not ruled out one day plying his trade in another country if a "great opportunity" was presented to him. Bale has been catapulted into the limelight following some impressive performances with Spurs this season, not least his stunning UEFA Champions League hat-trick against Inter Milan at the San Siro in October.
Subsequently a host of big-name clubs have been linked with a move for the Welshman, including the likes of Inter and Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid, but the 21-year-old recently committed himself to Spurs by penning a new four-and-a-half year contract.
However, that does not mean Bale is not willing to try his hand at playing abroad further down the line, with the former Southampton player telling Spanish daily AS: "You never know, but I'm not afraid to leave the country.
"If a great opportunity arises you need to seriously consider it. I left home at 15. If I leave the Premier League, I'll learn another language, I'll know other people, another country, I will grow as a person. There aren't more British players abroad because the league is very strong, but now yours (the Spanish league) has got Cristiano (Ronaldo), (Lionel) Messi..."
When asked about being linked with clubs such as Barça and Madrid, Bale said: "I try not to think about that. My team-mates joke a lot about my future, but I don't give it any thought. I'm playing the best football of my career at Tottenham. You know what? It seems like they are talking about another player when they say what I could cost and the clubs who are interested in me."
Bale could get a chance to further enhance his burgeoning reputation on the continent when Spurs face Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Champions League tomorrow night. Madrid have conquered Europe a record nine times while Spurs have only once before been involved in the competition, but despite that Bale is optimistic his side can dump out Jose Mourinho's men.
"We're all really looking forward to the game. We sincerely believe that over the two games we can get through," said Bale, who is facing a race to be fit for tomorrow's first leg at the Bernabeu. "They are a fantastic team, I've seem them almost every week for years, I love the Spanish league. But we know how to beat them.
"Madrid play on the counter and the three players up front have a lot of quality. Mourinho has them well-organised, Xabi Alonso always knows what the game needs. A draw at the Bernabeu would be very good."