Bale scored twice in Spurs’ 4-0 win over Burnley on Sunday, and celebrated by flicking three fingers up and down in the shape of a W and an M.
The W-M celebration is in recognition of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which helps fulfil the wishes of children with a critical illness, and it has also taken a secondary meaning of ‘Welsh mafia’, referring to the collection of Wales stars at Tottenham including Bale, Ben Davies and Joe Rodon.
In response to being excluded from the Welsh gang, the Brazilian midfielder jokingly offered up his own J-L celebration, meaning ‘Just Lucas’.
• Read more: Gareth Bale is better than ever, say Jose Mourinho
Bale told Spurs TV: “Because everyone is saying ours is Welsh Mafia, he’s decided to go with Just Lucas!”
Speaking about his man-of-the-match performance against Burnley, Bale agreed it was more like his best self.
“Yeah, I’m building,” Bale said. “Yeah, it’s taken a while, but yeah, I’m happy. I’m growing in confidence, my fitness is getting better and obviously then I think you can see that in my performance.”
Bale’s resurgence has been a long time coming as the first five months of his Spurs homecoming were dogged by fitness issues and large amounts of time on the bench. But during that difficult time Bale ignored the people who suggested he is past his best and has been enjoying his time at a club where he feels loved.
“It’s understandable, it’s been a while so I just continue to work hard,” he said. “I know you get criticism but I am experienced enough to keep my head down, not say anything stupid and keep plugging away.
“I’ve been happy all season. In the dressing room I feel comfortable and I’m having fun. I’m happy and I’m sure it’s showing on the pitch. The most important thing is we knew we’ve not been on a great run and it was important to get back to winning ways.”
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