Real Madrid's Alvaro Odriozola Says Gareth Bale 'Knows Spanish Perfectly'

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistMarch 29, 2019

MADRID, SPAIN - MARCH 16: Gareth Bale of Real Madrid in action during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and RC Celta de Vigo at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on March 16, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Real Madrid right-back Alvaro Odriozola believes Gareth Bale is "too shy to use" Spanish in the dressing room despite knowing the language "perfectly."

Marcelo said in February that the Welshman "only speaks English" in the dressing room, and Thibaut Courtois added to the picture of Bale as something of a loner at Real when he revealed he missed a team dinner because he thought it was too late:

B/R Football @brfootball

With Ronaldo gone, this was supposed to be Bale's breakout season. Real Madrid's gamble has failed. | @Richard_Fitz https://t.co/w0uhHd91Bc

However, Odriozola has now defended Bale and said the former Tottenham Hotspur man is committed to Real, despite rumours linking him with a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu, per La Galerna (h/t Goal):

"He looks good to me. Against Celta he played a great game. He worked hard, he is very motivated. He knows Spanish perfectly, the thing is that he is too shy to use it, which seems normal to me. I speak with him in Spanish and English, without distinction. And I see that his commitment to the club is total. He is a Madrid fanatic and he has given everything for the club. He is a great player, I don't need to say it. The pace, the power. And his precision in front of goal. I like him a lot."

Bale, 29, has, on the face of it, been a huge success since moving to Real from Spurs for £85 million in 2013.

He has won La Liga once, a Copa del Rey, four UEFA Champions Leagues and netted 78 goals in 148 league appearances for the club.

However, there is still the overwhelming sense that the forward has been a disappointment at the club, and he has never been a fan favourite:

B/R Football @brfootball

Gareth Bale’s agent has some opinions about Real Madrid fans 😤 https://t.co/QenwIHkcdK

One of the key frustrations has been his ongoing injury problems, which have plagued him almost since the moment he moved to Madrid.

Odriozola said Bale cannot be blamed for his fitness issues, per La Galerna (h/t Goal): "Nobody can choose that. There are players who are more susceptible to injury, others less so. But he works so hard in the gym. He takes great care of himself."

Zinedine Zidane's return as manager could have a major impact on Bale's future.

He was not a regular starter last season under the Frenchman, and he said after coming off the bench to win Real the 2018 UEFA Champions League final in May that he would have to consider his future if that continued:

Football on BT Sport @btsportfootball

"I need to be playing week-in-week-out...that hasn't happened this season." 👀👀👀 Gareth Bale speaks to @DesKellyBTS about his Real Madrid future... https://t.co/cbcDC6Otvh

Bale started Zidane's first game back in charge against Celta Vigo and scored Real's second in a 2-0 win.

However, Lucas Vazquez and Vinicius Jr. were both sidelined for that clash through injury, and Bale may not be certain of a starting spot when one or both of them return.