Despite prospective world-record Real Madrid transfer Gareth Bale handed No 11 shirt at Tottenham again this season

New signing at White Hart lane Roberto Soldado will wear No 9

Andre Villas-Boas will be hoping Gareth Bale does not turn into a false No 11 for Tottenham Hotspur this season, as the Welsh forward, on the cusp of a world-record £85m transfer to Real Madrid, has been handed his favoured number at Spurs despite reportedly stating this week he would never wear the shirt again. Tottenham’s record-signing Roberto Soldado will be sporting No 9, aiming to have more success in it that its last owner, one Roman Pavlyuchenko.

Even after an array of scorching performances, Bale’s No 11 Spurs shirt didn’t even make the top 10 of most purchased Premier League shirts around the globe last season, Manchester United’s Robin van Persie jersey proving the most popular.

Bale won’t be playing in Spurs’ season-opener against Crystal Palace on Sunday as he is out with a foot injury, but one thing he will be doing this weekend is watching his friend and compatriot, boxer Nathan Cleverly defend his WBO light-heavyweight title tomorrow night against dangerous Russian opponent Sergey Kovalev, a fighter who has knocked out 19 of his 21 opponents to date.

"I'm mates with Gareth and he follows my boxing career closely and always wishes me the best ahead of my fights which is great to hear from him," said Cleverly.

"He keeps a look out for me and what fights I've got coming up, he's heard about the Russian destroyer Sergey Kovalev I'm facing this weekend and he said rather you than me."

 "Gareth's an unbelievable talent and although I'm a die-hard Cardiff City fan and it hurts me to watch Spurs, I always watch him when he's playing, especially when he turns out for Wales as well.

 "He said to me he would have loved to be there on Saturday, but it's more likely he'll be watching the fight on TV and supporting me."

Gareth Bale was in the stands for the International Friendly match against Ireland on Wednesday Gareth Bale was in the stands for the International Friendly match against Ireland on Wednesday  

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview