Giggs insists Bale 'still loves football'

Wales manager Ryan Giggs has said that star forward Gareth Bale is still enjoying playing football despite his situation at Real Madrid.

Gareth Bale has the support of national team manager Ryan Giggs   -  Getty Images

Gareth Bale still loves playing football although he is on the fringes at Real Madrid, according to Wales manager Ryan Giggs.

Bale and Giggs are preparing for Euro 2020 qualifiers against Croatia and Hungary but the forward's club future is up in the air.

Zinedine Zidane appeared unwilling to use Bale in the closing weeks of Madrid's La Liga season, with the pair having reportedly fallen out during the Frenchman's first spell in charge.

Bale helped Madrid win three consecutive Champions League titles under Zidane but his time in the Spanish capital now seems to be drawing to a close.

READ| Gareth Bale named in Wales training squad

Giggs, though, does not feel Bale's situation at Madrid has resulted in the 29-year-old falling out of love with the sport.

"We played a game [on Tuesday] and he looked really good, sharp and really fresh," Giggs said. "I'm excited to see him in these two games [against Croatia and Hungary]."

"He was sharp, he wanted the ball, and he was practising his trademark of cutting in on his left foot. He scored a great goal."

"Afterwards when a lot of the lads went in he was practising his shooting, so that doesn't strike me as someone who just wants to get off and go back to his room."

"It struck me as a professional who still loves football."

Bale is Wales' star man but his bit-part role for Real Madrid means he is widely expected to leave the club, with a return to the Premier League mooted for the former Tottenham star.

ALSO READ| Bale move 'possible' if Premier League club pays up

"I'm not a Real Madrid fan. I don't know the ins and outs and I'm only looking from the outside," Giggs added.

"But you've got a player who won the team the Champions League final last year with one of the best goals you've ever seen and performs for that team week in, week out."

"I remember the original Ronaldo getting stick off Real Madrid fans. I remember Cristiano [Ronaldo] getting stick early doors."

"It's that kind of club, it's a club like no other where the white handkerchiefs come out if they don't like you. That's just the way it is."

"If he's flying for Real Madrid then I'm asked if that's a benefit. If he's not, then he's coming in fresh. There is always an angle."