Former Real Madrid midfielder David Beckham has hailed Gareth Bale for the way he has been coping with the pressure at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The Wales international joined Madrid from Tottenham in September 2013 and impressed in his first season at the club.
However, he received his fair share of criticism last term and Beckham is impressed with the way Bale has managed to hold his own in the Spanish capital.
“I got to know Gareth when I trained at Tottenham a few years ago – and he’s a fantastic guy with so much talent,” Beckham told the Daily Star.
“I wasn’t surprised when Real Madrid signed him for the amount they did. But, obviously, with that comes a lot of pressure.
“And when you are at Real Madrid, whether you sign for £1million or £100m, there is always pressure on you to perform.
“In his first season Gareth won the Champions League and scored in the final – that was unbelievable for him.
“But for me it is now that Gareth is showing why he is such a great character.”
Bale, who recently returned to the pitch after a calf problem, has netted twice in five appearances in all competitions for Madrid in 2015-16.