Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale believes he knows the reason why English sides are currently struggling to make a real impact in the Champions League.
Chelsea were the last Premier League team to win the competition in 2012 and this season, Tottenham crashed out at the group stage while Arsenal and Leicester are both trailing after their last-16, first leg ties.
Manchester City are the only English side who look likely to reach the quarter-finals after they beat Monaco 5-3 in their first-leg clash but Arsenal trail Bayern Munich 5-1 and Leicester are 2-1 down to Sevilla.
Bale, who has won the competition twice since moving to Spain, believes it is the sheer intensity of the Premier League that is hampering teams in England.
He told the Daily Mail: “I think I know why, but you can’t change it.
“It’s the league itself. Every game in the Premier League you have to be at 100 per cent for 90 minutes or you will lose.
“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.
“And, 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.”
Bale has also revealed that he is allowed to completely relax during his break over Christmas, adding: “I don’t do anything. We have seven, eight, nine days off. I go back to Wales and see my family and friends. On one or two days, I’ll go to the gym or go for a run to keep ticking over.
“It’s basically just rest. We come back and have a week of double sessions to get back up to speed.
“If you have seven or 10 days off when you’re not even in the country, you’re where you want to be, you’re not thinking about football or thinking about training in a couple of days.
“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.”