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'You lose your life in a way' - Bale says footballers are just 'robots' due to lack of choice

20:23 EAT 21/05/2019
Gareth Bale Real Madrid 2018-19
The Real Madrid winger says players don't have much freedom of choice due to the lifestyle they live

Gareth Bale says that footballers are "kind of just robots" as players lack the freedom of choice when it comes to scheduling out their own lives.

The Welsh winger has been with Real Madrid since 2013, and has gone on to win four Champions League titles with the Spanish club.

Bale has been linked with a move away from Madrid in recent weeks, though, with the return of Zinedine Zidane even further limiting his minutes.

It was a frustrating season for Bale, who scored just 14 goals in 42 games in a campaign where he figured to be one of the players responsible for replacing Cristiano Ronaldo's production.

And Bale, who has been criticized for his independence within the Real Madrid dressing room, hinted that he is sacrificing some of the freedoms he enjoys to pursue life as a professional.

He cited the retirement of his friend and former Wales defender Lewin Nyatanga, who stepped away from the game to focus on his family and begin a new career as a personal trainer.

"Yes, definitely [get your life back] because as a professional athlete - especially in a team environment - you don't get to choose your schedule, maybe like a golf or a tennis player," Bale said on the 'State of Play' film which will be aired on BT Sport.

"So we're kind of just robots. We're told where to be, when to be there, what time we have to eat, what time we have to go to the coach. It's kind of like you lose your life in a way. You're kind of just told what to do.

"You don't get to choose what you want to do, when you want to do it. So yeah, I can completely understand why [they would say] that.

"But on another point, I think a career in football is so short that sometimes you just have to sacrifice it.

"Some people think it's worth it and some people think it's not. Everyone knows when it's time to retire and obviously that was the right time for [Lewin Nyatanga] to do that and he's happy."

Bale and Real Madrid finished third in La Liga this season while suffering Champions League elimination at the hands of Ajax in the round of 16.