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LONDON (AP) — It was a moment of magnificence Tottenham had become accustomed to seeing Gareth Bale produce: A shot unleashed from 25 yards, curling into the top corner of the net.


It would be in a stadium that didn’t even exist when he played on the same patch of north London for the last time at White Hart Lane 2,709 days earlier.


Bale’s first Tottenham appearance was in August 2007, a 1-0 loss to Manchester United — the team Mourinho’s side routed 6-1 before the international break.


Only goalkeeper Hugo Lloris remains from the side that beat Sunderland on the final day of the 2012-13 season in Bale’s farewell to Spurs.


Zinedine Zidane only used Bale for around 100 minutes in La Liga games after the pandemic shutdown ended in June and didn’t use him at all in the Champions League in August before a 45-word statement signaled his departure.


Bale was characterized as never fully settling in Madrid or to the Spanish way of life because he didn’t speak the language and preferred quieter afternoons away from training playing golf, rather than late nights socializing with teammates.






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