Bale, 25, is under intense pressure at the moment from supporters in Spain and has been booed mercilessly the last couple of months after struggling through dreadful form.
He has continually been linked with a move back to England – with Manchester United and Chelsea keen on the Welshman – and was terrible in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final with Juventus, managing just 27 touches and one shot that went way off target.
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1 player ratings
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1 player ratings
1/22 Gianluigi Buffon
Reliable and imposing as ever, Buffon was an assured presence between the sticks. Couldn’t do anything about Ronaldo’s opener. 7
2/22 Patrice Evra
The ex-Manchester United left back was solid at the back apart from a lapse in concentration for the first goal. Found it hard to get forward with Rodriguez pinning him back. 7
3/22 Giorgio Chellieni
The big centre half gave a performance which epitomised what he is all about; Strength, organisation and aggression. Didn’t give Bale or Ronaldo much to work off. 8
4/22 Seb Lichtsteiner
The Swiss international was composed as always and looked to get forward at every opportunity. Kept Isco quiet going forward as well. 8
5/22 Christian Bonucci
Another solid display from Bonucci. His positioning and aerial ability made him too much of a presence for the Madrid forwards to deal with. 8
6/22 Andrea Pirlo
Another typically tidy display from Juve’s mercurial maestro. Didn’t have the affect he usually brings but still controlled the tempo of the game. 7
Chased the Madrid midfield tirelessly and attacked with pace when Juve broke away. He could be a key player in the second leg. 7
8/22 Claudio Marchisio
Used his experience and stamina to aid his team’s defensive efforts and released Tevez impressively in the lead up to the first goal. 7
9/22 Arturo Vidal
The Chilean was classy on the ball and industrious off it. Never stopped for a minute and looked to probe Madrid at every opportunity. 7
10/22 Alvaro Morata
The ex-Madrid striker was excellent against his old club. His work ethic and tricky footwork tormented the away side. Couldn’t miss his goal. 8
11/22 Carlos Tevez
Set up the first goal, earned the penalty and scored it. Tevez was a man possessed, taking Madrid apart at every opportunity. 9
12/22 Iker Casillas
The Madrid keeper was sloppy in patches and will be disappointed not to have parried Tevez’s first half attempt away from Morata to avoid the first goal. 6
13/22 Dani Carvajal
Could’ve cost his team a place in the final after hauling down Tevez for the penalty and will be counting himself lucky not be have been sent off. 5
Struggled to cope with the exploits of Morata and Tevez but seemed to be the only assured figure holding it together at the back for Madrid. 6
15/22 Raphael Varane
The highly rated defender looked well out of his depth tonight. Varane will be having nightmares about tonight for a while. Will need to improve hugely for the second leg. 5
The Brazilian full back had a game to forget. Failed to find a Madrid shirt for the majority of the first half and his defending wasn’t much better. 5
17/22 Sergio Ramos
Playing out of position, Ramos looked out of sorts for large periods of the game. Was overrun in midfield and failed to link play effectively up to the forwards. 5
18/22 Toni Kroos
The German maestro looked comfortable on the ball but failed to create many big chances. Resorted to shooting from distance most of the time. 6
Looked the most likely to create something out of the Madrid midfield but couldn’t find a breakthrough in the second half. Cut a frustrated figure. 7
20/22 James Rodriguez
Created the first goal but other than that flattered to deceive. Showed clever movement and passing at times but didn’t make a huge impact after the first goal. 6
21/22 Gareth Bale
The Welsh wizard will come under more scrutiny after this performance. Bale didn’t threaten the Juve goal anywhere near enough. 5
22/22 Cristiano Ronaldo
Went in front of Lionel Messi in the Champions League scoring charts but will take no other positives from tonight. Looked very isolated alone up front. 6
But McManaman, who played 158 times for Los Blancos and won two league titles and two Champions League trophies, including scoring in the 2000 Final, does not believe Bale will leave the club this summer, but admitted he needs to improve quickly to win over the supporters.
“I see him staying there to be honest, but he needs to perform better than he has been doing,” McManaman tells The Independent.
“The last couple of months have been disappointing and Madrid have been disappointed. We’re not talking about someone who cost £5million, we’re talking about someone who is the most expensive player in the world, the pressure goes with you.
“They need him to step up in this last month or so and play like the player he was last year.”
McManaman also pointed to the kind of performances Barcelona get from Neymar and Luis Suarez as something that Bale should look to. Whilst Lionel Messi is clearly the star man at Barcelona, like Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid, the supporting cast are having superb seasons in secondary roles.
“We all know that Cristiano is the top man, likewise Lionel Messi is the top man at Barcelona, but at Barca you have Neymar and Suarez really stepping up to the plate.
“The fact that Gareth is not stepping up to the plate at the minute, and [Karim] Benzema is injured, its heightened it even more. They need him to quickly follow Cristiano and play as well as him.
“If he plays well against Juventus, he scores and they go through to the final then it’ll be forgiven.”
McManaman also said that in the UK we should offer more support to players plying their trade abroad.
“We’re a bit like that in England, when we see someone playing not as well as expected we all think the magic thing is just to bring him back home, but we should be supporting him.”
Real Madrid take on Juventus in the Bernabeu in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final, trailing 2-1 after a poor performance in Turin.
McManaman is confident his former club can overturn the deficit and reach the final.
“I think they’ll go through to be honest and face Barcelona in the final,” he added. “I think last week’s performance against was disappointing enough, the second goal was poor, the way [Dani] Carvajal brings him down is ridiculous. Certainly at that level, at the highest level, to commit the foul and give them the lead.
“They have to win 1-0 at home to qualify, I’d certainly fancy them, if there’s one team that can defensively be very, very strong it’s Juventus, but if Madrid only need 1-0 or 2-0 I’d certainly take them, at home.”
The inaugural Facebook Football Awards takes place on Tuesday 26 May 2015. The Awards will be televised on BT Sport 1 and streamed on Facebook. The Facebook Football Awards are an opportunity for fans from around the world to have their say on the best performances of the 2014/15 Premier League season.
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