Bale’s settling-in period is over. Regardless of fitness issues, Madrid have entered the week of El Clasico against Barcelona and their mega-money signing will be expected to perform.
Ronaldo insists the Wales international has not been a disappointment to date, claiming Bale just needs support to feel comfortable at Madrid, per Dermot Corrigan of ESPN FC:
I think Gareth Bale has done well. Since he arrived he has had to do a preseason, so it has been difficult for him. But you can see he is very excited about being here.
He always wants to improve, which is important. People put pressure on him, for how much he costs, which I do not think is good for him. If you want to help him, leave him alone, put pressure on other players. I am sure he will do very well for the team.
Bale has barely featured since completing his summer switch from Tottenham, which reportedly commanded a world-record fee, according to BBC Sport—although it was never confirmed by Madrid.
Life began well enough when he scored on his debut against Villarreal before arriving as a substitute in the 6-1 hammering of Galatasaray.
However, Bale then had to pull out of his home debut due to a muscular injury before appearing for 45 minutes in the home defeat to rivals Atletico Madrid.
Further fitness concerns restricted Bale to 15 minutes in the 2-0 win over Malaga, but he is expected to feature for longer against Juventus this week.
Following that match, it is El Clasico against Barcelona, which boast their own mega-money summer signing in Neymar. The Brazilian has got off to a far more successful start to life in Spain.
Until Bale plays consistently, he will always find journalists attempting to attack his transfer fee, but a key goal against Barcelona this weekend would go a long way to silencing his growing critics.
Fortunately, he has a substantial ally in Ronaldo, and while the Portuguese defends his teammate, the Madrid press will likely align themselves to his wisdom and show support for the former Tottenham star.