‘Bale’s record at Real Madrid impossible to criticise’ – Blancos star has been unfortunate with injuries, says Toshack


Gareth Bale’s performances when fit for Real Madrid are “impossible to criticise”, says John Toshack, with the Wales international a success story in Spain despite his chequered injury record.

The 30-year-old forward starred for the Blancos in the immediate aftermath of a record-breaking transfer in the summer of 2013.

All too familiar fitness issues quickly set in, though, and Bale has become a scapegoat for many in the Spanish capital.

For some, he has refused to fully immerse himself in a new culture – with a reluctance to conduct interviews in Spanish considered to be an example of that – while questions have been asked of his overall contribution to the cause for some time.

Bale was supposed to step up as a talismanic presence following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo in 2018, but has remained in the shadows while filling a support role.

Transfer talk has raged around him at regular intervals, but he remains at Santiago Bernabeu for now and fellow countryman Toshack feels he deserves greater recognition for what he has achieved.

The former Madrid and Wales boss told Goal: “All I see is that Bale has suffered with injuries. 

“In Madrid they always look at you with a magnifying glass, they always criticise someone and Bale, for one reason or another, has not done many interviews but his performance is impossible to criticise. 

“You have to take into account his bad fortune with injuries, but you see his numbers in Madrid in terms of goals per game and titles and they are unbeatable.”

Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid

Bale is far from being the only high-profile figure to have attracted criticism at the Bernabeu.

Struggles for consistency at the start of the 2019-20 season from Real as a collective saw Zinedine Zidane fall under mounting pressure.

He has come through that to lead Madrid back to the top of the Liga table, with Toshack surprised that the Frenchman was ever doubted.

“It is very difficult to criticise Zidane,” he added.

“I am not an expert at Real Madrid but I do feel that criticising Zidane seems like a mistake. With what he has done, he has already proved so much.”

It could be that a campaign which started slowly finishes with a flourish for Real.

They remain in contention for La Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League crowns, although securing a notable treble is considered to a big ask.

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Toshack added on the Blancos’ chances of completing a clean sweep: “You only have to see the few teams that have won all three titles in one season, it is very difficult.

“But if there is a team that can do it then it is Bayern Munich in Germany or Real Madrid or Barcelona in Spain. 

“There is a lot of accumulation in matches and it is a huge test for any team, which is why almost no team has done it.”


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