Gareth Bale rejects media reports that claim he and Cristiano Ronaldo don’t get along and praises Real Madrid Coach Zinedine Zidane.
Bale spoke to BT Sport’s Rio Ferdinand in advance of the Champions League Final and, as well as discussing his ‘hard’ second year at Santiago Bernabeu, considered the standard of his teammates with particular reference to his relationship with Ronaldo.
“I think the standard of all the players here is a very high standard. That’s the reason why we’re in the Champions League final again. Going on to the pitch you have that confidence that we’re going to win, that we’re not even thinking about losing, going on and thinking about how many we’re going to score today,” he explained, before agreeing with Ferdinand that the Press has tried to stir up ill-feeling between himself and the Portuguese.
“[Our relationship] is fine. As you said all the papers and the media try to create a lot of problems. But we’ve never had a problem in the dressing room or on the pitch. I think you know yourself he’s an emotional player on the pitch, he can throw his arms up now and then but that’s how he is.
“He works hard for the teams and scores goals which is important but as I said we’ve never had a problem. We get on really well. We speak. He speaks English which is good for me. I’m enjoying playing together.
“You can see he’s dedicated, always in the gym working hard and stuff like that. I think he’s a bit more laid back than he was at [Manchester United]. He tends to make quite a few jokes and messes around as well which is good for the team spirit. He’s been great since I’ve been here and hopefully we can win more trophies now with him here.”
Zidane, meanwhile, was praised by Bale for his methods in dealing with the players, the Wales international appreciating his calm approach no matter the situation and speaking of the awe in which the former World Player of the Year is held.
“He’s been great since he’s come in. Everyone respects him as a football and a man and now as a coach. He’s just got that aura about him. Whatever he says everyone really just drools over the words he says. Whatever he says you trust in what he’s saying. He knows football obviously from when he played,” he said of the Frenchman.
“I think he’s just given us that belief, that joy just to go out on the pitch and enjoy yourself. If you don’t have to worry about certain things you can just go on and express yourself on the pitch you tend to get performances out of players. He’s just given that to the team that we can go out and play and enjoy ourselves.
“He’s similar to how he was as a footballer. When he needs to say something he will say it. He’s a firm believer in our need to keep calm. We need to be patient even if it’s the 80th minute and we need to score. He’ll say “be patient, it’ll come, it’ll come,” and not to rush things.
“Obviously when something needs to be said he has said it… in Spanish which is a little bit difficult to understand. It’s been good and I think it’s just give the confidence to everybody just to go out and express themselves and I think we’ve been thriving off that.”
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