Owen warns Bale of Madrid

Former Real Madrid striker Michael Owen has warned Tottenham’s Gareth Bale that a move out to the Spain may provide more obstacles than expected.

The now retired ex-England international spent the 2004-05 season at the Santiago Bernabeu and, despite a role predominantly on the bench, managed 36 appearances and 13 goals in the Primera Division.

However, Owen has this week warned Madrid’s summer transfer target Bale that life off of the pitch in Spain may prove harder to adapt to.

“[The changes are] huge. I underestimated that when I went to Real Madrid, certainly from a family point of view,” commented Owen on BBC 5 Live.

“From a football point of view, I think Bale would do particularly well. But I think for any player going from these shores to Spain, it is a lot different to how you first imagine it.”

The 33-year-old was asked what he would do differently if he were to relive his Madrid experience.

“How long have you got? Off the pitch, it’s very difficult. The Spanish culture is a very easy way of life; there’s a slow pace to it.

“When you get over there, you want to move into a house and get settled, get your wife happy, your kids happy and your family and everyone else happy, and you’re trying to change as well, but unfortunately you’re stuck in a hotel for five months.

“The legal system and all these things to buy a house are so slow. We wanted to do it as quick as we could, but I was in a hotel for five months with a young child.”

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