Giggs: Bale can handle added pressure at Real Madrid

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Gareth Bale will cope with the pressure of replacing Cristiano Ronaldo’s goals at Real Madrid, according to his Wales manager Ryan Giggs.

Bale has become the main forward at Real since Ronaldo’s summer departure to Juventus and has responded by scoring in their opening LaLiga wins against Getafe and Girona.

“When someone like Cristiano leaves there is always going to be a spotlight on who is going to replace him goal-wise and threat-wise,” Giggs said.

“It’s a massive void to fill but Gareth has the experience now of being at the club for a long time.

“Every year there is pressure on him and he has handled it brilliantly.

“It’s a bit different this year because Cristiano has left and there will be more focus on the players who are going to replace the goals.

“But Gareth has shown his qualities in big games and that he can handle anything that is thrown at him.”

Bale became Wales’ top goalscorer earlier this year when his 29th international goal took him past Ian Rush’s record.

He missed the goalless friendly with Mexico in Los Angeles in May as it clashed with his match-winning performance in the Champions League final.

But Bale is part of a 25-man Wales squad for next month’s UEFA League of Nations games against the Republic of Ireland and Denmark.

“He has started this season on fire,” Giggs said. “But there’s never really a time when he is not playing well.

“I think always the problem with Gareth is that when he has been injured, he’s then had to come back and get more game time.

“But when he plays, he always plays well and more or less scores.”

Bale, 29, joined Real from Tottenham in 2013 and his time in Spain has often been disrupted by injury.

It is a situation Giggs acknowledges given the injuries he suffered in the early part of his Manchester United career.

“It was probably when I was 28 when I really started realising what was good for me,” Giggs added.

“Preparing for games, maybe not training as much or not as intensively and some days training more.

“It’s a fine balance. Some days if you can feel there is an injury around the corner you then pull yourself out of a game which isn’t easy and you don’t always get it right.

“But it’s something you have to try and do for the longer time that you are playing. Miss one game and play the next.

“I was lucky having a manager like Sir Alex Ferguson who was quite happy to do that.

“It takes time to know your body and get used to what is good for you.”

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