Gareth Bale

On favourite goals, Spanish football and Why He Hates Playing Micah Richards

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Gareth Bale has spoken to Esquire about his admiration for Spanish football, his toughest ever opponent and his favourite goals of the past season.

The Welsh wonder - Esquire's new cover star - has spent the past 12 months holding his own personal goal of the season contest. Of the 26 he netted for Tottenham Hotspur, a huge chunk of them absolute screamers, which one was his net-bursting highlight?

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"My favourite goal? I've probably got two," Bale said. "I'd say away at Norwich I scored a goal where I ran from the half-way line and then also at West Ham where I scored a winner in the 90th minute. I couldn't pick between the two, to be honest."

Playing in the Premier League, Europe and in internationals, Bale has also faced his share of tough-as-nails defenders. The one he hates playing against the most?

"Probably Micah Richards at Man City. We always have a difficult time against each other. He's very strong [and] physical," he said.

With Spanish football continuing to go from strength-to-strength, Bale also spoke of his admiration for its style and hinted at a desire to one day play in La Liga.

"I probably prefer Spanish football to the others," he said. "It's very technical the way they play, they keep the ball well and whenever Spurs have played against Spanish teams in the past they've always made it difficult for us.

"So I'd say that Spanish football is probably the best I've seen. Obviously, I'd like to try other leagues in the future. Every player would like to get as high as they can and try different things. It's something that the future holds and it's something that I'm very interested to try in the least."

Read the full Gareth Bale interview and shoot in the Esquire July issue, on sale Wednesday 3 July.