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Former Wales boss John Toshack claims that he recommended Gareth Bale to Barcelona before he joined Tottenham.

Former Real Madrid and Wales coach John Toshack has claimed that he provided Barcelona with a sparkling recommendation for Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale three years ago.

The wing wizard is currently one of the hottest properties in world football in the wake of his demolition of European champions Inter, with the London club allegedly attaching a €50 million valuation to the 21-year-old.

Toshack handed Bale his first cap for Wales at the tender age of just 16, and speaking to radio station Cadena COPE, asserted that he had given the young star a seal of approval to the Blaugrana before he moved to Tottenham back in 2007.

He remarked: “I spoke with [then-sporting director] Txiki Begiristain and said that we had a very interesting player whose progress was being followed with great interest.

“Barcelona are the best, and Bale is the best in his position. If Lionel Messi is brilliant in tight spaces, Gareth is brilliant over the long distances. He is a very fast player.”

Bale emerged at Southampton before making the move to White Hart Lane in 2007 for a fee of €6m, and after suffering from initial injury problems, has been the undoubted star of 2010 for Harry Redknapp’s Champions League qualifiers.


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