Real Madrid star Gareth Bale: I spoke to David Beckham before move

Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale has told The Sun he spoke to former Bernabeu stars David Beckham and Steve McManaman before signing because he wanted to "avoid the mistakes" made by some British players in Spain previously.

Bale joined Madrid from Tottenham in summer 2013 in a then world record €101 million deal.

The Wales international has gone on to become the most successful British import to La Liga of all time, winning five trophies including two Champions Leagues and the Copa del Rey and scoring 67 goals in 143 games.

Bale said: "My mindset was to stay as long as I can -- I read Mark Hughes saying that when he came over he was already thinking about going home.

"He never settled in to life in Barcelona. Michael Owen in Madrid, too.

"I spoke to Beckham and McManaman, tried to do my research about what people had done wrong before and tried not to make those mistakes.

"Apart from a little blip in the middle, I've felt very settled. Last season was the most comfortable I've felt, and I feel I could be here for a long time now."

Bale had some difficult moments early in his Madrid career, suffering niggling muscle injuries and being being whistled on occasion by fans.

He was occasionally linked with a return to England, with Manchester United and Chelsea both reported to be interested.

But last October, the 27-year-old signed a new long-term contract tying him to the club until 2022, and said: "I've made the decision to stay, to see out my contract and maybe longer.

"I've never had a real feeling to go back because when I start something I hate not finishing it. I don't want to go back on someone else's terms -- I want to go back on my terms."