Ryan Giggs insists criticism of Gareth Bale is merely part and parcel of being a Real Madrid player, with the Wales boss citing how Cristiano Ronaldo used to be targeted, too.
Bale was booed by his own supporters when he left the field in a 1-0 Clasico loss to Barcelona this month, with the 29-year-old’s agent Jonathan Barnett later labelling Madrid fans “a disgrace” for jeering his client.
The Wales international has scored just three goals in 2019 during a slump in form for Los Blancos, who hired former boss Zinedine Zidane to take over from Santiago Solari on Monday.
Bale’s current international manager and former Manchester United midfielder Giggs says the ex-Tottenham star should understand that being under scrutiny is nothing new for those who play at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Speaking at a news conference where he announced his latest Wales squad, Giggs told reporters: “That [criticism] comes with playing for Real Madrid.
“Obviously, I played for United and you are open to criticism when you’re at a big club. Everyone’s had it.
“The two Ronaldos had it at Madrid, Gareth Bale has it. He won’t be the last person to be criticised.
“What’s he won? Four Champions Leagues. Scored the winner [in the final] last year. It doesn’t really need [me] to say much more.
“But when you’re at Real Madrid, and when you’ve got a high profile like Gareth Bale, you are open to criticism, that comes with the territory.
“He’s at Real Madrid. When I played at United and you lost, you have to put up with that, just like you have to put up with the adulation when you win leagues, when you win Champions Leagues.
“It comes with the territory and you have to put with it and Gareth’s put up with it. Great players over the years have put up with that, especially at Real Madrid.
“There’s newspapers dedicated every day to reporting on that club, so you have to take the rough with the smooth. Gareth always turns up, gives everyone a lift and he’s always been brilliant around the camp.”
Zidane’s return could impact Bale’s long-term future in the Spanish capital, with his agent Barnett telling ESPN it was a case of “wait and see”.
Yet Giggs does not believe the uncertainty at club level will impact Bale when he joins up with the Wales squad.
“He’s an experienced player,” Giggs added.
“I’ve said over and over again what a quality player he is and what a quality person he is. I expect Gareth to turn up and, just like he always does, give everyone a lift.”
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