Tottenham legend Ginola defends Bale against diving claims

The 45-year-old has argued that the Welshman needs more protection from referees, amidst growing accusations of repeated diving being levelled at the pacey winger
Premier League legend David Ginola has launched a stinging attack on those who claim Tottenham winger Gareth Bale is a serial diver.

Over the last week, Bale has found himself cautioned for simulation twice in successive matches, but the former Spurs and Newcastle player is adamant that the winger’s growing reputation for going to ground easily is undeserved, and has called for referees to offer greater protection to the Welshman.

"This debate really annoys me. The kid [Bale] is doing so well. He shouldn't carry this on his shoulders," the Frenchman told BBC Radio Wales.

"I don't understand why we put pressure on him with such false ideas. It's unfair. When you get a reputation, it's really [hard] to get rid [of].

"It's really easy when you run that fast with that pace on the pitch at players, you don't need a big tackle to go down. A little push would be enough to lose the balance.

"Football is about entertainment. When you have players like that who entertain you week in, week out - you have to protect that. It's so precious.

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"You have to have to take care of them because they are little diamonds in a league like the English Premier League.

"I thought he was a diamond when I saw him he play against Inter Milan and scored three goals [in 2010]. I realised he was special and he is special."

Ginola also insists Bale is fully deserving of the growing comparisons to his fellow countryman Ryan Giggs, and believes Spurs should do everything in their power to keep the 23-year-old.

"To be put alongside Ryan Giggs is a huge compliment for Gareth Bale, but one day Ryan Giggs will be very happy to be named alongside Gareth Bale," he continued.

"He is the complete player and he is still very young. He has got everything.

"When you have a diamond you don't sell diamonds - you try and keep them."