Football - AVB: Bale more in form than ever before

Andre Villas-Boas has warned Inter Milan that Gareth Bale is now even more capable of wreaking havoc against them than when he tore them apart the last time around.

PA Sport

Bale caught the world's attention in October 2010 when he scored a hat-trick at the San Siro and then went on to make a mockery of Brazil right-back Maicon when Inter went down 3-1 to Spurs in the reverse fixture the following month.

The victory, and the "Taxi for Maicon" chants that rang out around White Hart Lane that night will live long in the memory of Tottenham fans, but Bale's determination not to dine out on those two games for the rest of his career has allowed him to develop in to an even more devastating player.

Bale has scored 20 goals for Spurs this season - comfortably his best return as a professional - and his manager thinks the Welshman is primed to cause yet more damage to Inter when the two teams lock horns in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie at White Hart Lane.

"I think Gareth has evolved as player. He is even more threatening now," the Tottenham manager told a press conference.

"I remember seeing the highlights of Inter - Tottenham, and how Tottenham came back into the game late on.

"Maicon was an outstanding right-back, one of the Brazilian right backs, so to see a young player like Gareth play like he did against him demonstrates his talent.

"Now, two years on, he plays in a different position. He's become a different player; a bigger player and a more complete player.

"He's the kind of player who can determine the outcome of a game, as we've seen in recent matches."

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