1 View comments Tottenham are clearly getting over their Champions League heartache.
Or perhaps they’re doing the equivalent of drowning their sorrows.
Either way, they’re a world away from Wembley, soaking up the sun in The Bahamas.
The Premier League club are currently winding down after the stresses of a campaign which saw them just miss out on a place in the top four, and Mousa Dembele, Jan Vertonghen and Emmanuel Adebayor have given fans a behind the scenes look at the post-season tour.
Postcard: Manager Andre Villas-Boas (centre) is right in the middle of his players enjoying the sun, including Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Jan Vertonghen and Mousa Dembele (left-right) Catching rays: Emmanuel Adebayor posted this snap of himself enjoying the boat trip Jetting off: Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen showed off this picture of himself on a jet-ski In pictures posted on Instagram, midfielder Dembele is seen with his team-mates and manager Andre Villas-Boas in the middle with a big smile on his face.
Defender Vertonghen sought after some fun away from the boat, as he posted a picture of himself on a jet-ski.
The club are currently on a post-season jaunt, and drew 0-0 with the Jamaican national team in an exhibition match on Friday.
The stalemate looked to be the last thing on the Spurs stars’ minds as they caught the rays.
Gareth Bale: Scored 31 goals for club and country this season Sky Bet Football Betting Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds Football Betting 10 Free Bet Real Madrid ambassador Zinedine Zidane believes Tottenham winger Gareth Bale is “more than good enough” to play for the Spanish side.
Bale, 23, has just enjoyed a stellar season, during which he scored 31 goals for club and country and was named Professional Footballers Association player and young player of the year and Football Writers Association footballer of the year.
With Spurs having missed out on a place in next season’s Champions League, it has been suggested they could struggle to hold on to Bale, although the club is keen to tie him to a new deal.
Zidane’s comments are likely to add to fears over a bid from the Bernabeu, with the former France international placing Bale in the same bracket as Real forward Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.
“I’ve been watching Tottenham because Gareth Bale has been playing there,” said Zidane.
“He is consistently scoring spectacular goals and very important goals.
He is very quick, skilful and exciting.
“Of course all the talented players like that can come to Real Madrid.
Is he good enough for Real Madrid? Of course.
He is more than good enough to play for Real Madrid.
“Aside from Ronaldo and Messi, he is the player who has impressed me the most in the world.
He is outstanding.
“What has particularly impressed me is that he is consistent.
It’s not just been in one or two matches.”
0 View comments Zinedine Zidane has insisted Gareth Bale is more than good enough to play for Real Madrid and said the door is open for the Welshman to join the Spanish giants this summer.
Zidane works with the youth teams at the Bernabeu and has watched Bale, 23, this season, particularly in Tottenham’s Europa League campaign.
Zidane, 40, spoke in glowing terms about the Spurs star, who is set to sign a new contract at White Hart Lane worth up to 200,000 a week, despite Tottenham’s failure to qualify for the Champions League.
Seal of approval: Zinedine Zidane has said Gareth Bale is more than good enough to play for Real Madrid Real Madrid, however, remain very keen to sign Bale, who is valued at around 60million, and hope the lure of top European football will convince him to move abroad.
Zidane said: Big players like that, talented players like that, can always go to Real Madrid.
He’s more than good enough.I ve been watching Tottenham for the very reason Gareth Bale is playing.
Aside from people like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who are top players, he is the footballer who impressed me the most, I must admit.
He particularly impressed me because he was consistent.
He wasn t just great in one or two matches, he was consistently a good player, all the time, and he was consistent in scoring goals, very important goals.
Madrid defender Sergio Ramos said this week Bale is a Real Madrid-quality signing and Marcel Desailly added that he should leave Tottenham for a major club with a culture of victory .
Bale has enjoyed the best season of his career, scoring 31 goals for club and country, and former Chelsea and France defender Desailly believes Spurs can no longer fuel his ambition.
Desailly said: He should just go.
Tottenham will not give him the opportunity to play at a very high level.
There’s no price for experience.
It’s time for him to go.
It’s not a matter of money, it’s the experience at a club that has the culture of victory, a club that has trophies in the cupboard.
Not one or two, but plenty.
Zidane also feels Jose Mourinho’s exit from Real will not dent his confidence ahead of his expected return to Chelsea.
Zidane said it was no surprise Mourinho is leaving Madrid after a trophy-less season because of the high expectations at the club.
Zidane, a former Real star and a World Cup winner with France, said failing to win Madrid’s 10th European title would have been a disappointment for Mourinho, but backed him to bring more success to Stamford Bridge.
Zidane added: The issue with Madrid is that if you apply to run the club the expectation is that you win all matches in all competitions, and if you don t it’s very difficult and suddenly you get pressure from on high.
I m not sure that doesn t apply to all big clubs, but it applies particularly to Real.
All lost matches are a shock for Madrid.
The mentality is you have to in every match and every competition.
I don t think it will affect his (Mourinho s) confidence.
Obviously he’s disappointed because he didn t win, but I still think he has a lot of trust in what he does and in his work and will try to win again.
Zidane (right) admits to some managerial ambitions of his own and is taking his coaching badges while acting as director of football at Madrid.
It’s a good experience for me, he said.
I m taking courses to get my diplomas and, when I ve got them, I would like, eventually, to run a club.
Zinedine Zidane was speaking at the adidas lab, showcasing the latest innovations at the cutting edge of football.
Zinedine Zidane won the Champions League only once, losing in two finals, and says anything could happen at Wembley: ‘I will always remember my first final and how we lost despite being hot favourites to win.
That was against Dortmund, too.’ Photograph: Gary M.
Prior/adidas via Getty Images Of all the praise that has been lavished on Gareth Bale perhaps none will make him blush quite like that delivered by the Frenchman who landed in a rain-drenched London on Friday afternoon dressed in a black jacket, black T-shirt and blue jeans.
He looked like any other person but this was Zinedine Zidane, greatness in the flesh, and for someone of Bale’s age and attacking instincts, the ultimate benchmark.
“I’ve been watching Tottenham for the very reason Gareth Bale is playing,” said Zidane, “and aside from Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi he is the footballer who impresses me most.
He particularly impresses me because he is consistent; he doesn’t just raise his level for one or two matches, he is consistently good, consistently scoring important goals.” While those words are sure to please Bale, who no doubt mimicked “Zizou” more than once growing up in Cardiff, they are also likely to irritate Tottenham and could be deemed by the club to be part of an ongoing attempt by Zidane to entice their prize asset to Real Madrid.
After all, this is not the first time the former Real player, who currently works as an adviser to their president, Florentino P rez, has publicly praised Bale.
Earlier this month he claimed the 23-year-old Professional Footballers’ Association player of the season is worth at least 60m and is sure to interest those European clubs who could afford such a fee.
Spurs are determined to keep Bale and, despite their failure to qualify for the Champions League, are confident he will sign a fresh deal that will see his salary rise to 150,000.
However, if Real, and one of their legendary former players in particular, were to come calling the Welshman may just find the lure of Los Blancos too difficult to resist.
“He is more than good enough,” replied Zidane when asked if Bale had what it takes to play for the Spanish giants.
“All talented players can go to Real Madrid.” Zidane was in London as part of a promotional event for Adidas that also tied in with the capital’s hosting of Saturday’s Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.
It feels somewhat remarkable that a man of his talents a three-times world player of the year, a World Cup winner and someone Pel once described as a “magician” only won the competition once.
His contribution to Real’s 2-1 victory over Bayer Leverkusen in the 2002 final was, though, a moment to make up for a million disappointments; that edge-of-the area, air-slashing volley from Roberto Carlos’s first-time cross that restored Real’s lead and had the majority of those in attendance at Hampden Park, as well as millions watching at home, rubbing their eyes in amazement.
“It is the kind of goal that is very difficult to repeat,” confessed its architect.
“I have tried to repeat it for advertising campaigns but to no avail I have never been able to.
It was a wonderful moment for me and was fantastic on the night as it helped us win.” Zidane also lost two Champions League finals while playing at Juventus, in 1997 and 1998, and ahead of Saturday’s all-German affair at Wembley it is the first of those defeats which naturally springs to mind.
The Turin club, having won the competition in the previous year and just secured the Serie A title, arrived at Munich’s Olympic Stadium widely expected to defeat Ottmar Hitzfeld’s Borussia Dortmund.
But they lost 3-1, with Zidane marked out of the contest by a recently-arrived midfielder from Motherwell called Paul Lambert.
“Borussia Dortmund at the time hadn’t had a great season and the team was getting older, guys like J rgen Kohler and Andreas M ller, but they were still great and deservedly won,” said Zidane.
“That shows a lot can happen in one match.
A final is just one match.
A lot of people make Bayern Munich favourites to win on Saturday but I will always remember my first final and how we lost despite being hot favourites to win.
That was against Dortmund, too.” Zidane’s warning is also based on more recent experience with him having seen Real beaten by J rgen Klopp’s side in the semi-finals of this year’s competition, a result he described as a “pain” for the La Liga club.
That elimination also, perhaps, hastened Jos Mourinho’s departure from the Bernab u, with it confirmed in the past week that the Portuguese will leave Real at the end of the season before a widely expected return to Chelsea.
“For the time being he’s still at Madrid and there are two matches left of the season,” said Zidane, who worked alongside Mourinho as Real’s sporting director for a 13-month spell up to last September.
“What happens on the pitch will show if him going back to Chelsea was a good idea or not, but when you’re a very well-known coach there is pressure on you anyway.
“I don’t think his confidence will be dented from having failed to win any trophies with Real this season.
Obviously he will be disappointed but he still has a lot of trust in what he does and what he says.” As far as his own future is concerned Zidane is clear in his desire to enter management.
It is close to seven years since he retired as player, with the final act of a glittering career that startling headbutt on Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final, and since then the 40-year-old has combined high-level duties at Real with a coaching role at the club’s youth academy as well as the completion of coaching qualifications back home in France, in Limoges and Paris.
“I have ambitions,” said the Frenchman, who appears as lean and healthy as he did in his prime.
“I am very happy doing what I’m doing at the moment; working with youngsters at Real, but I would definitely like to run a club one day.
I have no idea which club it would be, but that is definitely my aim.” Zinedine Zidane was speaking at the adidas lab, showcasing the latest innovations at the cutting edge of football.
For more information visit www.adidas.com/football or join the conversation @adidasfootball #adidaslab
Christian Benteke has warned Aston Villa that they can?t make him stay at the struggling Premier League side.
Benteke has buzzed attention from several top Premier League sides including Manchester City1, Arsenal2 and Chelsea3. However, Spurs are reportedly leading the race for Benteke who has scored 23 goals this season.
Christian Benteke, 22, has bought by Villa for ?7m last August from Genk and has settled in magnificently, easily becoming their top scorer of the season. He has three years left of his Villa contract to run and the club believe his value has more than trebled.
Belgian Benteke, said: ?If Aston Villa say I must stay, I won?t necessarily accept that.
I do not in any way want to feel I didn?t get the most out of my career.
I try to get everything.?
Again I find myself writing something as the poor reporting on Gareth Bale is making me ridiculously angry.
Firstly we have the numerous ex-players coming out on why Bale should leave. All have a hidden agenda and some being paid for doing it.
But as Gareth doesn’t want to listen to it direct the papers feel it might be best to print it (trying to force this advice down his throat).
Why oh why does anyone think that Bale would take his advice over say Ryan Giggs? The likelihood is that Giggs has told Bale give it another year and see if Champions League comes up, if not move to Utd.
I am angry to say the least that the press are trying to force him out of the country. The reason I say this is that Tottenham are not willing to ship Bale off to a team in the EPL, so essentially he would go aboard (as the club would not sell him to a rival).
One of the most exciting players in our league and he is treated like a child in a broken marriage (all the papers each have something different to say they are right and they all know what s best for him).
Then we have the fact that the papers are making up a lot of news up to sell their papers. Madrid are not in talks with Tottenham to buy Bale this summer! It is a load of rubbish.
Only today has a newspaper finally come out and highlighted something I had stated weeks ago!
The Daily Star are the first newspaper to remember that Bale has just signed a new 3 yr deal with BT as they push to take on Sky Sports, by having some of the EPL’s best players on their staff. How would Bale be accepted by the viewers playing in Spain? He wouldn’t!
BT have had assurances from Bale’s advisers that he is not moving abroad for the next year at least!
I cannot believe that it is taking the press so long to give up with their stories that are utter fairytales for a foreign club and start printing the truth.
How about our press supports our English teams!
Yes ok it s all about selling papers, but then all the blog, fans and Facebook pages are getting clogged up with fans that believe that Bale is off to Madrid and that they are concerned and worrying themselves for no reason.
As always common sense should wipe out most of the negative thoughts and the proof actually out there will take care of the rest.
Pay no attention to the reports, Bale is not leaving this summer and has been given assurances that Levy will go all out to add quality and depth to the squad to enable them make a better challenge for 4th and 3rd.
Tottenham player Andros Townsend has been charged with breaching betting regulations.
Townsend has withdrawn himself from England’s squad for the European Under 21 Championship following the charge.
The 21-year-old winger, who spent the second half of last season on loan at QPR, will be replaced in the young Lions squad by Birmingham’s Nathan Redmond.
Charged: Andros Townsend has allegedly breached betting regulations FA Rule E8 (b) Save for those Participants subject to the prohibition in sub-paragraph (a), a Participant shall not bet, either directly or indirectly, or instruct, permit, cause or enable any person to bet on (i) the result, progress or conduct of a match or competition: (A) in which the Participant is participating, or has participated in that season; or (B) in which the Participant has any influence, either direct or indirect; or (ii) any other matter concerning or related to any Club participating in any league Competition, as defined in Rule A2, that the Participant is participating in or has participated in during that season, including, for example and without limitation, the transfer of players, employment of managers, team selection or disciplinary matters.
For these purposes, without limitation to the application of this Rule to other circumstances, all Employees of a Club are deemed to participate in every match played by that Club while they are so employed; all Players registered with a Club are deemed to participate in every match played by that Club while they are so registered.
The FA said in a statement: ‘The FA has announced it has charged Andros Townsend in relation to alleged breaches of its rules governing misconduct and betting.
‘The Tottenham Hotspur player has been charged with breaches of Rule E8 (b) in relation to a number of betting offences.
‘The player has until 3 June to respond to the charges.’ A separate statement from the FA said: ‘Townsend will receive the full support of the FA and Tottenham Hotspur FC in seeking rehabilitation whilst responding to the allegations.’ The FA also announced Southampton left-back Luke Shaw had withdrawn from the England Under 21 squad to be replaced by Liverpool’s Jack Robinson.
Townsend is a product of the Spurs youth set-up, having joined the club aged nine in 2000.
He has had loan spells at Yeovil, Leyton Orient, MK Dons, Ipswich, Watford, Millwall, Leeds and Birmingham.
His former boss at White Hart Lane, Harry Redknapp, took him to Loftus Road in January where he scored twice in 12 games but could not prevent QPR slipping down to the Championship.
There is no suggestion that the charge relates to match-fixing and there is also no suggestion that Townsend has been betting on fixture he has been involved in.
More to follow…