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Tuesday 12 December 2017

Gareth Bale: I don't need to reply to the critics

Wales' Gareth Bale
Wales' Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale (right) insisted he had no need to answer his critics after his two-goal show in Israel inspired Wales to take top spot in their Euro 2016 group.

Bale, the world's most expensive player, came into the vital Group B qualifier in Haifa with his form at Real Madrid under huge scrutiny from both supporters and the Spanish media and his car being attacked at the club's training complex in the wake of the 2-1 Clasico defeat to bitter rivals Barcelona.

But Bale responded to the criticism by scoring twice in a comfortable 3-0 victory which took Wales above Israel to the top of the group at the halfway stage of the qualifying campaign.

"I don't need to answer the critics," Bale said after he added to Aaron Ramsey's opener with a second-half brace at the Sammy Ofer Stadium.

"I know, and everyone around me knows, what I can do.

"There are ups and downs in football, you have to take it with a pinch of salt and all you can do is respond with your performances on the pitch, like that.

"I don't feel I need to prove anyone wrong or right, I just need to play my football.

"I love playing for Wales. It's a big honour and the most important thing is I focus on my football and I don't listen to anyone else, what they're saying.

"I'm just enjoying my football with the boys."

Bale's double saw him become the joint sixth goalscorer in Welsh history alongside Cliff Jones, Mark Hughes and Robert Earnshaw.

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