Gareth Bale’s agent says his client has no problem with team-mate and Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo despite differing personalities and reports last season of a row between the pair.
Ronaldo – Ballon d’Or winner in each of the last two years – saw his world-record transfer fee eclipsed by the Wales international when Bale arrived at the Santiago Bernabeu in 2013.
Bale has since been a target for sections of the Spanish press for seemingly not passing to Ronaldo enough during his two seasons with the 32-time Spanish champions.
But agent Jonathan Barnett maintains the pair get along well.
“They don’t go out eating every night together, but it’s fine. There’s no hatred there,” he told The Guardian.
“Gareth is a quiet guy. They’re complete opposites. But I think Gareth can learn a little bit from Ronaldo as well, interacting maybe a little bit. But he wants his own life and he lives it.
“Gareth is a great footballer, he doesn’t want anything more. He has some very good endorsements but his whole life is to be the best footballer in the world. I don’t think he wants to be the best model in the world or the best underwear seller. That’s not him.”
As well as difficult treatment from the media, Bale was on the receiving end of jeers from sections of the Bernabeu crowd last term as the winger endured his first rocky spell since arriving from Tottenham.
Under Rafael Benitez, Bale is now employed in a central position behind Karim Benzema rather than out wide in a front three – something Barnett believes benefits his client.
“I think there’s a great love of Ronaldo. I think that the new guard is coming and there’s some resentment, perhaps, to that,” he added, in reference to the media criticism.
“But I think things will change. Gareth’s now playing in a better position, where he wants to play.
“I’ve always said it, I think he’ll be the best player in the world in the next couple of years.”