Spurs' Gareth Bale hungry for Champions League

Gareth Bale
Bale was named the PFA player of the year in April

Tottenham winger Gareth Bale has said he needs to be playing Champions League football on a regular basis.

The 21-year-old Welshman starred for Spurs as they reached the quarter-finals in their debut campaign in the competition.

But Spurs missed out on a place in next season's competition after finishing fifth in the Premier League.

"It's a competition I really need to be playing in," said Bale.

Bale's performances in Spurs' Champions League campaign included a hat-trick against Inter Milan at the San Siro last October.

Harry Redknapp's side finished top of their group and defeated AC Milan in the round of 16 before suffering a 5-0 aggregate defeat by Real Madrid in the last eight.

Having enjoyed his first taste of Champions League football, Bale says he is keen to play in the competition once again.

"Wales haven't qualified for a long time and the Champions League is the highest level I'm going to be playing at apart from international level," he said.

"Scoring a hat-trick at the San Siro was massive and a great experience for me and something I will always have to look back on.

"It's obviously massive for me personally but next season we're not in it, we're in the Europa League.

"It will give us more motivation to finish in the top four to be able to play in that [Champions League] competition.

"It's a great competition and I think every footballer wants to play in it. We've had a great experience in it this year with Tottenham.

"It was a good run and everyone at the club enjoyed it and are proud of what we achieved.

"It's been a crazy season but we all knew [what] we were capable of doing and proved to the world what Tottenham are capable of."

Bale missed the final two weeks of the season after he ruptured ankle ligaments during Spurs' 1-1 draw against Blackpool.

But the former Southampton player is confident he will be fully fit for the start of next season.

"Hopefully I will be running in the next couple of days and I'll definitely be back for pre-season," he added.

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