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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 September 2018

Bale can fill Ronaldo boots at Real, says Wales manager Giggs

Bales, called up for Giggs' 25-man squad for upcoming Uefa League of Nations fixtures, has scored in both Real's opening fixtures of the season

Gareth Bale produced a typical finish for Madrid's third goal, sprinting away from the Girona defence after being released by a wonderful pass from Isco and calmly steering the ball home. Reuters
Gareth Bale produced a typical finish for Madrid's third goal, sprinting away from the Girona defence after being released by a wonderful pass from Isco and calmly steering the ball home. Reuters

Gareth Bale can cope with the pressure of replacing Cristiano Ronaldo as the star man at Real Madrid, says his Wales manager Ryan Giggs.

Bale has become the main forward at Real since Ronaldo's summer departure to Juventus, scoring in their opening La Liga wins against Getafe and Girona.

"When someone like Cristiano leaves there is always going to be a spotlight on who is going to replace him goal-wise and threat-wise," Giggs said.

"It's a massive void to fill but Gareth has the experience now of being at the club for a long time. Every year there is pressure on him and he has handled it brilliantly."

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Giggs said Ronaldo's departure meant there will be more focus on the players who are going to score the goals.

But he added: "Gareth has shown his qualities in big games and that he can handle anything that is thrown at him."

Bale became Wales's top goalscorer earlier this year when his 29th international goal took him past Ian Rush's record.

Bale, 29, who joined Real from Tottenham Hotspur in 2013, is part of a 25-man Wales squad for next month's Uefa League of Nations games against the Republic of Ireland and Denmark.

"He has started this season on fire," Giggs said. "But there's never really a time when he is not playing well.

"I think always the problem with Gareth is that when he has been injured, he's then had to come back and get more game time. But when he plays, he always plays well and more or less scores."

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