Gareth Bale “can handle” the criticism which comes his way at Real Madrid, says Ryan Giggs, with the Welsh forward being backed to turn a deaf ear to the “noise” which continues to follow him around.
Bale, who started the Blancos’ Clasico clash with Barcelona at Camp Nou, was back on the bench for a 0-0 draw with Athletic Club on Sunday and was handed only 28 minutes of action.
He has struggled to nail down a role once again under Zinedine Zidane this season, with a French coach at the Santiago Bernabeu having previously taken to freezing the 31-year-old out of his plans.
Transfer speculation has raged amid the uncertainty surrounding Bale’s future, with talk of a possible return to the Premier League surfacing during each passing window .
It has been suggested that a move to Manchester United could help a man who has become a scapegoat in Madrid to rediscover his passion for the game.
Giggs, though, claims that is not an issue, despite Bale being branded ‘the golfer’ in Spain , with the Red Devils legend adamant that a fellow countryman is enjoying his football and has learned to ignore the detractors who want to write him off.
“He still very much loves the game and playing it; loves winning, loves scoring goals, loves making goals,” Giggs told Sky Sports of Bale, who he manages at international level with Wales.
“It’s all noise you can’t control and it’s about blocking it out so if you don’t hear it then it’s not going to affect you.
“Gareth is at one of the biggest clubs in the world, he’s won four Champions Leagues, he’s won everything so he can handle it [the criticism].”
Bale, for all of his issues at club level, has continued to star for his country and has helped the Euro 2016 semi-finalists to book their place at next summer’s European Championship .
Giggs will be hoping to see a talismanic figure lead by example once again at that event, but admits his attention has started to drift beyond 2020 as Wales seek to make their way back to a World Cup stage.
“In the summer, I was the worst manager in the world – that was only six months ago,” Giggs added.
“Now, people look at me differently – things change and they will do again, it’s a rollercoaster.
“I wanted to manage Wales to get them to the Euros but also, ultimately, to get them to the World Cup and that’s my immediate future past the Euros.
“The last time we were at a World Cup was 1958 so I want to get this set of players to the World Cup.”