Real Madrid's Gareth Bale wants more British players to play abroad

Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo
Gareth Bale teamed up with World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo in Madrid

Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale has urged more British footballers to leave the Premier League and play abroad.

Welshman Bale moved from Tottenham to Real Madrid for a world-record £85m transfer fee last summer.

The 25-year-old, who is one of only a few leading players from the UK to move abroad, won the Champions League in his first season in Spain.

"If you feel you're going to play, then I would encourage a British player to go abroad," Bale told the Independent.

"I've enjoyed every minute of it, the new culture, the new life. I felt like I wanted to challenge myself. It's down to the player himself whether he can kick on."

The former Southampton player scored 22 goals in 44 games during the 2013-14 season and netted the winner as Carlo Ancelotti's side beat Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final.

A selection of Brits playing abroad
Former-Chelsea defender Ashley Cole - Roma (Italy)
Ex-Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe - Toronto FC (Canada)
Man City defender Micah Richards - on loan at Fiorentina (Italy)
Chelsea midfielder Josh McEachran - on loan at Vitesse (Netherlands)
Ex-Man City forward Bradley Wright-Phillips - New York Red Bulls (USA)
Former Dundee United midfielder Ryan Gauld - Sporting Lisbon (Portugal)

However, Real only finished third in La Liga last season, behind winners Atletico Madrid and Barcelona, and Bale wants to step up his performance to help land the title this season.

"I definitely feel I can keep improving every season, improve my game in training every day," Bale said. "We're expected to try to win every trophy. We want to win every trophy. We'll give our best."

The forward, who scored both goals in Wales' 2-1 win in their opening Euro 2016 qualifier in Andorra on Tuesday, added: "I feel like I'm improving all the time. I've learned a lot, in terms of possession and making the right decisions, when to attack and when to keep the ball."

Bale is the sixth Briton to play for Real Madrid, following in the footsteps of David Beckham, Steve McManaman, Jonathan Woodgate, Michael Owen and Laurie Cunningham.

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