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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

'Gareth Bale's hair drove me mad'

Harry Redknapp has revealed how irritated he used to get over Gareth Bale during his time at Tottenham as he would always be worrying about his hair in training.

Gareth Bale has endured a stuttering start to his Real Madrid career.
Gareth Bale left Tottenham for Real Madrid for a world-record transfer fee.

• Train: Defence as attack

In his autobiography which is being serialised by the Daily Mail, the former Spurs boss believed Bale may never have become the player he is now because he "was not the strongest of characters".

Bale was sold to Real Madrid for a world-record 85 million pounds towards the end of the summer transfer window, but has been hampered by injuries since his arrival to the Bernabeu.

And Redknapp wrote how the Welsh winger constantly frustrated him.

"He drove me mad in training. Technically, he was outstanding but he always seemed to be playing with his hair," Redknapp, now in charge of Queens Park Rangers, said. "It was never right. He'd be flicking the fringe or wiping it out of his eyes and I would be going quietly mad, just watching. 'Gareth, leave your barnet alone! Gareth! Stop touching your hair!'"

Redknapp also explained how by toughening up his former player Bale was able to become a key player for Tottenham over the past couple of seasons.

"He was always getting a little knock in training, too. He'd go down then limp off and I always thought the physios made too much fuss of him," he said.

"It was the same pattern every morning: Gareth would tumble and stay there, and they'd all go running over.

In the end I told them just to leave him alone. 'Don't worry,' I said, 'he'll be fine in two minutes. If it is anything urgent we'll soon know.' "That's what they did and, as predicted, Gareth got up, got on with it and got better and better.

"With Gareth, it was all about building up his confidence. We shifted him to wide left and moved Luka Modric inside so they would link up. And we were beginning to hurt teams. "

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