Wales' Gareth Bale 'unfazed' by Real Madrid jibes, says Joe Allen

Joe Allen
Joe Allen made his debut for Wales in a friendly against Estonia in 2009
Euro 2016 qualifier: Israel v Wales
Venue: Sammy Ofer Stadium, Haifa Date: 28 March, 2015 Kick-off: 17:00 BST
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru and the BBC Sport website

Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen believes his Wales team-mate Gareth Bale will be unaffected by recent criticism at Real Madrid.

Bale has been scrutinised in the Spanish media following a dip in form.

But as Wales prepare for Saturday's crucial Euro 2016 qualifier in Israel, Allen is backing Bale to excel for his country.

"I don't get the impression that he is someone who is fazed by these sort of things," he said.

"It comes with the territory at a club like that."

Allen had to overcome scepticism from Liverpool fans after he joined from Swansea City for £15m in 2012.

But the reaction to Bale and Real's poor recent form has been so severe that some of the club's fans were captured on Spanish TV appearing to attack cars belonging to Real's players after the 2-1 defeat to Barcelona on Sunday.

Bale came under fire after a spell of eight matches without a goal, but responded with a brace against Levante, which he celebrated by covering his ears and kicking the corner flag.

Cardiff-born Bale joined Real Madrid from Tottenham Hotspur on a six-year contract for a world record fee of £85.3m in September 2013.

His recent tribulations have fuelled rumours he could return to the Premier League.

But he is with the Wales squad at the moment as they prepare for a pivotal qualifier against Israel, who top qualifying Group B with nine points, one more than Wales.

According to Allen, the former Spurs man has showed no ill effects of a trying few weeks with Real.

"He's a world class player who, every minute of every training session, shows that," said Allen.

"I doubt the Israelis will be looking forward to facing him on the weekend."

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