Gareth Bale: Casemiro defends team-mate after boos from fans

Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale was substituted after 82 minutes of Real Madrid's Champions League win

Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro has defended forward Gareth Bale after he was booed for the second game in a row.

Wales international Bales, 28, was jeered by some of the Bernabeu crowd in Wednesday's 3-0 Champions League win over Apoel Nicosia.

"He was a very strong player for us and I hope he continues to be so," Casemiro told Marca.external-link

"We try to protect the players we have. We are always defending our own. It shows that we are a family."

He added: "I defend my team-mates as if they were my family and I am with them until the end.

"With the quality he has, things will be going well for him one day."

Bale has scored only one goal in six games for Madrid this season.

Manager Zinedine Zidane said: "I did not listen to the whistles, only the applause."

Support from Clement

Swansea manager Paul Clement, the former assistant boss at Madrid, said Bale can cope with the boos and emerge a better player.

"That is a club where you need a lot of character," Clement said.

"Claude Makelele says it is the club you need the most mental toughness, because of how demanding the home crowd are.

"Gareth is not the first top player and he won't be the last to be booed by the Madrid fans.

"Cristiano Ronaldo has had it, the Brazilian Ronaldo has had it, Zidane, [Luis] Figo. That is the reality of playing for that club.

"Coming through the other side of it makes you a better player, absolutely.

"Some are not able to cope with it, but the real top ones do and they become legends at the club and Gareth can do that. He has won three Champions League.

"I know Gareth well and he can cope. He's a tough boy and is hungry to do well."

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