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Gareth Bale : Medals matter more than Real Madrid star status

Gareth Bale says trophies mean more than star status as he prepares to defend the Champions League with Real Madrid.

Bale has won three European titles since swapping Tottenham for Madrid in a world-record move four summers ago, scoring in the final in his first season and netting a penalty in the shoot-out victory over neighbours Atletico in 2016.

A third winner’s medal followed last season along with a first Primera Liga success but, according to a poll in one Spanish newspaper this summer, 72 per cent of Real supporters would have happily accepted the Wales forward’s sale.

Manchester United were interested in making Bale their marquee signing, but the 28-year-old stayed at the Bernabeu, where Cristiano Ronaldo continues to hold star billing in his 33rd year.

Asked about Neymar’s decision to leave Barcelona last month to become Paris Saint-Germain’s new figurehead, Bale told the Daily Mail: “Well there’s an argument for that.

“But I think the main thing, when you look back on your career, is that you look at your trophies. In the end that’s probably the most important thing.

“I don’t really look into things like that [No 1 status]. Some people do, some don’t. I’m not too bothered. I just want to go out on to the football pitch and enjoy my football.

“I want to do well for myself but I also want to try to help the team and win trophies. Just try to enjoy myself I think. That’s the main thing.”

This season’s Champions League group stages pit Real against Bale’s old club Tottenham, where he came to world prominence as part of a team featuring Madrid team-mate Luka Modric.

He said: “I’ve spoken to Luka about this. We were there or thereabouts to win the league and we kind of just dipped at the end. When you look at the team we had at the time, we feel that we should have won something.”

Spurs host Real at their temporary home of Wembley at the start of November, and Bale said: “[White Hart Lane] is going to be a big miss for them, but with modern football I suppose other things are taken into consideration.”

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