Gareth Bale has been urged to “copy what Cristiano Ronaldo does”, with John Toshack still hoping that “one of the best players of all time” can leave a lasting impression at Real Madrid.
As things stand, the Welsh forward’s time in Spain will be best remembered for the regular spells he has spent on the treatment table.
Success has been enjoyed with the Blancos, including four Champions League triumphs, but Bale has faded after making a bright start to his spell at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The departure of Ronaldo to Juventus in the summer of 2018 was supposed to leave the path clear for a 29-year-old forward to step up into the role of club talisman.
That has not happened, but former Wales and Madrid boss Toshack believes Bale can prove his worth if he follows the lead of a former team-mate.
He told AS: “Cristiano plays as a winger, scores and sets up goals for the others.
“There's no doubt that Gareth is one of the best players of all time. If he wants to continue there, he should try and copy what Cristiano does.
“If you look at what he's achieved, it makes you wonder what he would have done if he hadn't been so unlucky with injuries.”
Bale has made 23 appearances and netted 10 goals this season, but is currently back on the sidelines with a calf problem.
Toshack hopes he can enjoy an injury-free run after making his next return to action, while also tweaking his game slightly in order to deliver greater productivity.
“So, obviously, with the experience he has, maybe he can drop off a little and play short balls, drop deeper and read the game more,” added a man who took in two spells as Madrid boss.
“I hope that he goes on to do more than he's done so far, because when you come back from an injury, you know that you have to start all over again.
“As for getting back to full fitness, he's got to do that all over again and it's something he's had to do two or three times every season which sets him back.
“It's been very difficult for him and, as I say, he deserves credit for the way he's persevered.
“What we could never have really imagined were the injury problems he's had. I mean he's lost almost as many games as he's played and clearly that's hampered his progress a little bit.”