Gareth Bale says he “grew up” during his time with Real Madrid and has “no regrets” having departed the Spanish club to return to Tottenham.
Bale joined Spurs on a season-long loan earlier this month seven years after having departed north London for a then world-record transfer fee.
Despite having played a key role in Real winning four Champions League titles, Bale fell out of favour with manager Zinedine Zidane and made just 20 appearances last season as he was frozen out by the Frenchman.
The 31-year-old also endured a strained relationship with the Spanish media, who were highly critical of him, particularly towards the end of his time in Spain.
“No I don’t have any regrets, no,” Bale told Sky Sports. “I just try and play football, that’s all I can do and everything else that’s said externally is out of my control.
“As I said, I have no regrets of what I’ve done, whatever anyone else has said, that’s up to them. I know my opinion of myself and my family know exactly what I am, so that’s all I’m worried about.
“Obviously going into a different culture, a different country, I’ve had to grow up as a person, never mind a footballer.
“You just learn how to deal with the situations that you’re in. Obviously I’ve been in immense pressure situations. I’ve had people on the pitch whistling in the stadium to me.
“So yeah I’ve just learned how to deal with those type of things, to not take it to seriously, take it too much to heart, and yeah just get on with it. It’s football – something that you love doing and you just need to give your best and sometimes that’s all you can do.”
Tottenham finished sixth in the Premier League last season, and with Bale’s arrival, the club will be aiming for a return to the top four and Champions League qualification.