Gareth Bale has insisted there was no chance he was going to retire from professional football over the summer, despite speculation.
The 32-year-old attacker, who spent last season on loan at Tottenham, has now returned to Real Madrid, where he has featured three times under Carlo Ancelotti in La Liga, scoring one goal.
There was strong speculation over what Bale would do next after his loan spell at Spurs reached its conclusion, with some rumours suggesting he was set to retire from football altogether.
However, the Wales international has strongly denied those claims and has insisted there was no chance that was going to happen in the summer.
He said: “Everyone just seems to make up stories when they want. I don’t know. They just make up some wild things. I never planned to finish.
“Like I said before, I just wanted to concentrate on the Euros and didn’t want to have to explain myself. I didn’t feel like I needed to.
“I still don’t feel like I need to, and I think no matter what I said I was going to do, whether it was to stay, leave, retire, whatever, it would have caused a big story. An annoying story, and a distracting story.
“So I think for me it was better not to say anything and just try to concentrate on the job in hand.”
Bale also admitted that the main reason he returned to Tottenham was because of the “good environment” he knew he was going into and he also mentioned how much he enjoyed his return to north London.
The Welshman added: “I think it’s always good to be in a good environment. That’s the biggest reason I went to Tottenham as I knew it would be a good environment for me.
“It was a break that maybe I needed at the time, and I had a great time at Tottenham.
“It definitely helped me mentally be back in a happier place and I think that showed again coming back with Wales in the Euros, and then I’ve brought that into Real Madrid this season, where there’s obviously a better environment for myself anyway.”
In Bale’s one season back in the Premier League, the attacker scored 16 goals in all competitions, as well as providing three assists for his Tottenham team-mates along the way.
It was a mixed return to England for Bale, who sometimes struggled to cement a first-team place under Jose Mourinho, but his goal return is definitely nothing to be ashamed of.