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Tottenham star Bale: I had one game to stay in football

Tottenham star Gareth Bale has revealed how he was 90 minutes away from giving up football.

Just five years ago Bale was given one make-or-break match against Norwich to save his career and prove he could cut it as a professional.

It seems amazing now, but Southampton were unsure he would ever make it and were ready to release him at 15.

Bale said: "I had growth problems and the club weren't sure about me. My mum and dad spoke to the academy director and it didn't look good.

"My bones were growing too quickly so my hamstrings were getting tight. I had to have my back manipulated because I was in pain.

"But I showed them enough in that game to earn a scholarship. I remember I played well, setting up a goal and getting the good news.

"I was always confident it would happen. I didn't think that would be the end.

"It was a pressure game at a crucial time for me, but I showed the courage to perform under pressure and it paid off.

"That has stood me in good stead ever since."

Southampton signed him, he made their first team at just 16 and the rest is history, with Bale moving on to Spurs in a £10m transfer in 2007.

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