Gareth Bale Says Reported Problems with Cristiano Ronaldo 'Were Never There'

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 22, 2019

Real Madrid's Welsh forward Gareth Bale (L) celebrates with Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo during the UEFA Champions League final football match between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Olympic Stadium in  Kiev, Ukraine on May 26, 2018. (Photo by LLUIS GENE / AFP)        (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)
LLUIS GENE/Getty Images

Gareth Bale has denied ever having a rift with former Real Madrid team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo during the latter's time at the club. 

The pair were part of Los Blancos' forward line from when Bale joined in 2013 until Ronaldo's departure to Juventus last summer.

The Welshman spoke to BT Sport and reflected on his time with Ronaldo:

Per MailOnline's Nathan Salt, he said:

"Cristiano is an incredible player, I thoroughly enjoyed playing with him.

"Obviously the media try and hype up these problems which were never there. We got on really well. He's an incredible player and what he did for the club with the amount of goals he scored. An incredible player and he is still going now."

When Ronaldo left for Juve last year, Bale was quick to wish him well on social media:

However, there were numerous incidents on the pitch which suggested there was at least tension between them, if not a rift.

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In March 2015, the Mirror's James Whaling reported Ronaldo appeared angry after Bale scored a rebound from his shot.

Several more similar occasions happened in the year or more that followed:

Real Madrid legend Francisco Gento also called on them to work together more for the good of the team in 2016.

Both players—Bale in particular—have been whistled at times by Madrid's demanding fanbase, but the former Tottenham Hotspur star reflected fondly on joining the club:

"I just remember my unveiling at the stadium, and there was about 40,000 to 50,000 people there and I was just like 'oh my god.' It felt amazing to finally be there because it had been a long road in that transfer window, obviously. 

"I appreciated everything Tottenham had done for me but I think they did understand at the time that when such a big club comes in for you like Real Madrid it is difficult to turn them down. Even though I was enjoying my time at Tottenham, loved the club and I still do, to have Real Madrid come for you, you'll regret saying no."

Though at times he has struggled for form and fitness at the Santiago Bernabeu, Bale has enjoyed a highly successful time there:

Spurs fans may still be harbouring hope the winger might return before the end of his career, particularly after Zinedine Zidane—with whom Bale has little relationship—became Real manager for a second time earlier in March.

They might not be best pleased the 29-year-old grew up appreciated their bitter north London rivals, though, as Bale admitted while holding a Thierry Henry shirt:

"I used to watch Arsenal a lot, and I really enjoyed watching people like Henry. I used to like watching Dennis Bergkamp as well. They had a great teamTottenham fans won't be happy that I am holding this!"