The Welshman insists his Real Madrid team-mate is different to how people perceive him and claims his friendship with Luka Modric has helped him settle in SpainGareth Bale believes his Real Madrid team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo is misunderstood, claiming the Portugal international is a “great man” off the pitch.
Bale joined Real in an £86 million deal from Tottenham last summer, a fee which eclipsed the previous world-record fee of £80m that Real paid Manchester United to acquire Ronaldo.
But the Welshman insists his fellow forward has done all he can to make him feel welcome in the Spanish capital and has praised the star's “absolutely amazing” attitude.
In an exclusive interview with BT Sport, Bale said: “I think since the first step that I made into Real Madrid he’s been absolutely amazing with me. He’s given me advice on and off the pitch, with football matters and not and he’s given me advice where to live and stuff like that.
“He is such a nice guy, so helpful, always wants the best for the team and obviously people write things about him but people who actually know him know exactly what he is like and he’s a great man and a great footballer as well.”
Bale joined Luka Modric in Madrid, a former team-mate of his at Tottenham, and the Wales international admits having the Croatian in the dressing room has helped him settle in swiftly at the Bernabeu.
“Yes, we were there for five years together at Tottenham and we actually got on really well there as well so having him here obviously was a massive plus for me,” he added.
“I obviously spoke to him about it, when he came to Madrid he didn’t really know anybody so it was quite difficult for him in his first year but having him here this year has made me settle in so much quicker, just being able to go in to the group and knowing someone, hanging around with them rather than feeling I am stuck on my own so it’s been a great help on and off the pitch and obviously I’m thankful for that.”
Despite there being a number of international stars within the Real squad, and with Zinedine Zidane a member of the coaching staff, Bale insists he has never been “in awe of anybody” at Real.
“Obviously he’s (Zidane's) one of the best players that has ever played the game but he was there to welcome me on the first day like everybody else and everyone has been so great, whether it be whoever it may be but I don’t really get in awe of anybody.
“ I just know if I go out and play my football then I’ll be with everybody else.”
Gareth Bale was speaking on The Clare Balding Show, to see the full interview tune in to BT Sport 1 at 8pm on Thursday 15th May