Bale plays down Ronaldo rivalry ahead of Wales v Portugal clash

Gareth Bale has played down any rivalry between himself and Real Madrid team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo, ahead of Wales’ Euro 2016 semi-final clash with Portugal.

Bale and Ronaldo have spent three seasons together at the Santiago Bernabeu, with the Welshman’s world-record transfer fee reportedly having an immediate negative impact on the pair’s relationship.

However, Bale insisted he gets along well with Ronaldo and their European Championship meeting will not degenerate into a battle of individuals.

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“It’s not about two players, everybody knows that, it’s about two nations, 11 men v 11 men,” said Bale.

“It will be a very different game, they’re in the semi for a reason but we’ll enjoy the occasion as we have done.

“[Ronaldo is] a fantastic player, everybody knows what he can do, but we speak about what we can do as a team.

“The teams we’ve played had very good individuals, but it’s about how we perform as a team and by doing that we can shut out a lot of threats.

“The star in our team is all of us. We are all together, we all work as one, running for each other, tackling for each other. We get on like brothers and we’re having fun, enjoying the occasion, with no fear. It’s working so far.”

While Bale is enjoying his time with his team-mates, Ronaldo’s attitude has been criticised after he blasted Iceland for having a “small mentality” and was filmed throwing a television reporter’s microphone into a lake.

However, the Welsh star would not comment on his club-mate’s state of mind.

“I’m not too sure [if Ronaldo is feeling tense], I can’t comment on what he’s feeling. I’m sure he had his reasons for doing what he did,” continued Bale.

“I feel comfortable and we’re enjoying ourselves. Sometimes you have to fulfil your responsibilities and doing interviews is a part of it.

“We get on well at Madrid and we enjoy playing with each other. I’m not sure what he does off the pitch, that’s his private life. It’s not for me to decide who’s the better player. If I can help Wales win that’s all I need.”

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07 2016
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