Saturday 23 September 2017

Chris Coleman: 'I knew Gareth Bale would succeed at Real Madrid

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale from Britain celebrates a goal
Real Madrid's Gareth Bale from Britain celebrates a goal
Real Madrid's Gareth Bale

Chris Coleman believes there was never any doubt Gareth Bale would succeed at Real Madrid.

Wales winger Bale endured an injury-hit start to life at the Bernabeu following his world-record £86million move from Tottenham , and came in for criticism in the Spanish press for his performance in the Clasico defeat to Barcelona in October.

But the 24-year-old has found his feet of late, scoring five goals in his last three games, including a hat-trick in the weekend win over Real Valladolid.

Wales manager Coleman had warned it could take until the New Year for Bale to produce his best form, but always expected his star man to make an impact in La Liga.

He told Sky Sports News: "That's football. Last month after El Clasico he was under pressure, but a month later he is playing well and everyone realises what a good player he is and that's good news for everyone.

"His talent was never in doubt. He is a fantastic player - one of the top players on the planet.

"But he is the same player as last year. He will not all of a sudden do ridiculous things to warrant that price tag.

"He has to be himself, enjoy his football and keep playing the way he can and the way he has over the last two or three years.

"He is a super player, he is a great guy to work with and I think he is comfortable in Madrid, which is important and he is enjoying his football.

"Once he is doing that, with the ability Gareth Bale has got, only good things are going to happen."

Coleman was speaking at the launch of the Football Association of Wales' 'Behind the Line, Behind the Team' campaign at Glantaf School in Cardiff.

The initiative is designed to improve adult behaviour on the touchline at junior and grassroots football matches in Wales.

One of the ideas of the campaign is to use 'Behind the Line, Behind the Team' barriers to create designated spectator zones and remind those on the touchline not to overstep the boundaries.

Coleman said: "I know how important it is for children to be encouraged to play football, to feel free to express themselves and learn from mistakes without negative pressures from the sidelines.

"We all want our children to be the best they can be, and I'm proud to be part of a campaign which aims to educate spectators, and help them be a positive influence on our young players."

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