Roberto Carlos bucks the trend by claiming Gareth Bale IS worth £86m

Former defender says Real Madrid were right to break the world record transfer fee to sign the Welshman

The astronomical fee Real Madrid paid for Gareth Bale has been widely criticised, but former player Roberto Carlos has said that he cannot understand the furore surrounding the Welshman's £86m price tag.

Bale's switch from Tottenham to the Bernabeu dragged on for much of the summer, giving anyone and everyone a chance to voice their opinion on the fee.

Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino argued the money involved showed "a lack of respect for the world we live". Zlatan Ibrahimovic said "no footballer is worth paying that amount of money for" and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said "I don’t think at all that the prices are linked with the quality of the players."

Even the assistant manager at Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane, labelled the money involved "incomprehensible" while Bale's former team-mate Rafael van der Vaart said: "I've played with him, but I couldn't see that he was worth 100 million (Euros) back then".

Yet Carlos, who was part of the original 'Galacticos' era at the Bernabeu, has supported his former club's decision to break the world record transfer fee.

"They have paid that because he deserves it," the former Brazil international told AS.

"They also paid a lot for (Zinedine) Zidane, (Luis) Figo, Ronaldo, Cristiano (Ronaldo). Barcelona also paid much for Neymar. They are worth it.

"That is why I don't understand Tata Martino's critique of the signing of Bale alluding to the economic situation. You have to pay for this type of player."

Despite pairing Bale with Cristiano Ronaldo for a combined transfer fee of £166m, plus an array of other talents, Carlos does not believe the current Real Madrid side matches the team he was involved in that won the Champions League in 2002.

"Do not compare," Carlos declared. "This Madrid is great, but to be equal or better they have to achieve what we did."

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