Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale says teams in the English Premier League have to play at a high level for 90 minutes to win games as opposed to their counterparts in the Spanish La Liga.
“Every game in the Premier League, you have to be at 100 per cent for 90 minutes or you will lose,” the player who transferred from Tottenham Hotspur in 2013 told Sky Sports.
“In Spain, you can be up at half-time against the bottom club and take your foot off the gas. You can rest players and take people off.
“If you try for 45 minutes, you won’t win a match in the Premier League.”
He said the intensity and pressure of the EPL, and the lack of winter break were hindrances to the league’s success in European football.
England has produced only one Champions League winner in the last eight seasons and only three of the 16 finalists in that time have been from the EPL.
La Liga has served up seven finalists in that period, winning the trophy on five occasions.
“Obviously the winter break is massive. In England, you’ll play four or five games and we don’t play any. You don’t get many rest days and it really does burn you out for a long time after that.
“It’s nice to really get away from it, mentally as well as physically. Spanish teams definitely know they have this edge over the English. Every country does: Spain, Italy, Germany, they all have the winter break,” said Bale.
Bale’s Real Madrid hope to qualify for the quarter-final of the Champions League as they take a 3-1 lead to Napoli on Tuesday night.
The forward will return to the team having missed the victory at Eibar on Saturday as a result of the red card he got against Las Palmas.