Gareth Bale is “better than ever,” according to Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho, who believes that any manager in the world would want him after his success against Burnley.

With two goals and an assist in a 4-0 win over the Clarets, the Wales international had the most damaging effect of his second spell in north London.

Bale’s return to Real Madrid appeared to be a disaster after he struggled with fitness in the first half of the season, but he proved on Sunday that he is back to his best.

The 31-year-old is no longer “flat” and is “better than ever,” according to Mourinho, who used him sparingly during that time.

“Sometimes people write things, and some of you like to imagine stories, you need to write stories, and sometimes you like to tell things that aren’t true,” he said.

“But there isn’t a single manager in the world that doesn’t play Gareth Bale if Gareth Bale is in really good shape. There isn’t one, but he’s happier than he’s ever been. It’s not just about his two goals; it’s also about his overall physical success. He’s no longer smooth. He now has ups and downs in the speed at which he executes his acts.

Even in the field where he plays, he alternates between being outside and inside. He performed admirably and is in excellent health.

I’m just happy for the team because he contributed to the team’s victory, which is the most important thing. I’m pleased for him.”

Bale scored after just 67 seconds, then set up Harry Kane and was involved in Lucas Moura’s third as Mourinho’s side piled up the goals in the first half.

After a fine afternoon’s work, he added a brilliant second goal after the break to help Spurs to their second Premier League victory in seven games.

Bale played 70 minutes against the Clarets and his availability for two Premier League games in four days next week will be decided by his results.


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