Madrid: Gareth Bale says he is fighting fit in pre-season as he bids to regain his Real Madrid spot.
The Welshman made a sub appearance in the Champions League final win over Juventus but largely missed the end of the last campaign with an ankle injury, as Marco Asensio and Isco took their chance in his absence.
“Last season the pain in my ankle made it hard for me to be fully fit, but I am able to go flat out in pre-season,” he said in an interview with Spanish sports paper Diario Marca.
“My ankle hurt last season, but you always want to be back in the side. Maybe I should have taken more time to recover and not force my return, but it doesn’t hurt me now, my ankle is strong and I am ready,” said the 28-year-old.
“Everything went well until January, but it was bad luck and you can’t avoid injuries in football,” he said, explaining he worked “12 hours a day” to be fit in time for the Champions League final, which was played in Cardiff.
“It was incredible to be able to raise the Cup in front of my family and friends. But now I want to have a good pre-season and to start 100 per cent fit, because when I came back last season I was only 50 per cent fit.”
The former Tottenham Hotspur star was asked about his future amid constant rumours of interest from Premier League clubs, but he said he had “signed a long contract with Real Madrid” and was “happy” at the club.
“I am a British player and they will always talk about me returning home. It happened with David Beckham and other English players who came here. But I am happy at Madrid and there is no offer to buy me and so there is nothing to talk about,” he explained.