You are currently viewing Madrid. Golf. Life – In no order. Bale sits down to discuss it all
Screenshot from Youtube/Erik Anders Lang
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On the two-year anniversary since his two goals in Kiev against Liverpool which sealed Real Madrid’s 13th European Cup, Gareth Bale joined golf film-maker and social media personality Erik Anders-Lang on a podcast to discuss the club, his passion for golf and life in Spain.

Here’s what the Welshman had to say in his Q&A:

Your transfer to Real Madrid was at the time, a world record deal at the time. Were you like, “Oh my god?” How do you process it all when that’s happening? Are you like, “I just broke a record!” I’m obviously great at what I do and here’s the proof…

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“Yeah. So when a club buys a player for a large fee, normally there’s a lot of pressure because the club’s paid how many millions for you and there’s this kind of pressure to perform and stuff but when mine went through, it was kind of strange. I knew it was the world record at the time. But yeah, I just didn’t really think about it. It’s just one of those things, I just wanted to play football and yeah whatever happens happens, I just wanted to try and give my best on the pitch where, I guess, a lot of other people feel like “oh, I have to prove my worth”. So I kind of took a different approach to it and just kind of let it get off my back.”

You’ve always wanted to build your own golf course in your Cardiff home? That’s so exciting.

“It was, it is still. But the thing is I’m never really home in Cardiff so what I decided to do was build three holes first, because if I build 18 and I’m never there, there’s going be a lot of maintenance issues and a lot of waste, so I thought if I build three holes, see if I like it, see how it goes, see if I like having it in my house. And then, obviously, if I do move back and if that’s kind of where we decide to kind of settle down after football, then we can build more we have the land to do it. So, yes, whenever I go home now we play with my friends, we have three par threes, we’ll play for drinks or whoever’s paying for food whatever and just have a laugh.”

So, it’s slightly complicated for you to play golf in Madrid?

“You wouldn’t think it would be, but it is! A lot of people have problems with me playing golf. I don’t know what their reason is. Because I’ve spoken to doctors and everybody is fine with it. But especially the media in Madrid, they have this perception that it’s not good for me, that you should be resting, it can cause problems, injuries. But I’ve looked in America and people play, for example Steph Curry plays maybe on the morning of his game.”

But the fans of Real Madrid are not interested in your golf game are they?

“No, not at all.”

What did you want to do with your life?

“All I ever wanted to do was become a professional footballer. I never planned to get to this level. I just wanted to play for Southampton, where I was. I wanted to be a professional player and make it into the first team. That was my goal. And I’ve said before, I just seem to keep making goals, setting goals so I can reach them and get to the next one, so I’ve always got something to go for and keep my motivation. It has been helpful to me, because by having a goal, you have that motivation and the drive to get there. Once you achieve it, you have to set the next one. And if you don’t set one, you feel a bit lost. Where do I go from here? What do I do? I’ve always just had those little goals and they’ve just been getting bigger and bigger.”

I think I get why you love golf, is your love of football the same?

“It’s different now, because it’s a job. Whereas now with golf, I can go out and just be on my own and smile. I’ve got no pressure apart from myself. Just hit a ball. It’s just fun. There’s no pressure, no stress. And it’s normally nice weather here. We get a lot of pressure every game. If you don’t play well, the scrutiny, I’ve had 80,000 people in the stadium whistling me because I haven’t played well.”

Whistling you? That’s bad, why would your home fans do that? It’s pretty brutal.

“Yes, it’s not great. And I’ve had it a few times as well! The first time I thought, ‘what is this?!’ It’s not nice! And it’s not good for your confidence. I just don’t get it. Because if you’re not having a good time on the pitch, you would expect your fans to get behind you and try and make you do better because that will make them happy. But it seems to be the opposite. They just whistle you, which makes you feel worse, so you lose your confidence, then you play worse, which is going to make them even more upset. It’s sort of a Real Madrid thing. Other clubs do it, but Real Madrid are especially known for it. So, I might have just missed an easy chance to score a goal, and the whistles come and you think: “My confidence is already down because I missed an easy goal and now it’s just going to be even more down.” And the next time a chance comes the goal seems tiny. It’s like a putt. The goal just gets smaller.”

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