Gareth Bale: Real Madrid winger criticism irrelevant, says agent

By Simon StoneBBC Sport
Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale has made a recent comeback from a calf injury

Gareth Bale's agent has dismissed criticism of the winger's display in Real Madrid's Champions League defeat to Juventus on Tuesday.

Ex-Manchester United skipper Roy Keane said Real "played with 10 men".

Keane managed Sunderland and Ipswich, where he was sacked after 20 months.

Bale's agent Jonathan Barnett said: "Why should we take any notice of irrelevant comments from people who don't know what they are talking about and people who failed in management?"

Bale, 25, who joined Real for a world-record £85.3m in 2013, had the fewest touches and passes of any Madrid player in the 2-1 first-leg loss in Turin.

Keane, who is assistant manager to Martin O'Neill with the Republic of Ireland, told ITV: "Gareth Bale gave them absolutely nothing. He took the easy option every time."

Barnett defended Bale by adding: "Gareth only listens to relevant comments.

Gareth Bale
Bale had a total of 32 touches, four fewer than Real goalkeeper Iker Casillas in Real Madrid's defeat by Juventus

"He is at the biggest club in the world. He is one of the best players in the world. He is fine," he told BBC Sport.

BBC Sport's Phil Neville says a lack of confidence is contributing to Bale's present form, adding: "The stick is justified.

"Normally when he gets the ball you expect him to square the defender up and go one-on-one. But he is passing it sideways and back. That is not the Gareth Bale we know."