Gareth Bale has addressed the persistent reports that he has a difficult relationship with Cristiano Ronaldo, insisting that he gets on well with his Real Madrid team-mate.
Bale, who is preparing for his second Champions League final just three years after moving to the Bernabeu, suggests speculation comes from Ronaldo's emotional on-pitch persona.
"The media try to create a lot of problems. But we’ve never had a problem in the dressing room or on the pitch," Bale told Rio Ferdinand on BT Sport.
"I think you know yourself he’s an emotional player on the pitch, he can throw his arms up now and then but that’s how he is.
"He works hard for the teams and scores goals which is important but as I said we’ve never had a problem. We get on really well. We speak. He speaks English which is good for me. I’m enjoying playing together.
"You can see he’s dedicated, always in the gym working hard and stuff like that. I think he’s a bit more laid back than he was at United. He tends to make quite a few jokes and messes around as well which is good for the team spirit. He’s been great since I’ve been here and hopefully we can win more trophies now with him here."
Real Madrid take on Atletico Madrid at the San Siro on Saturday night, bidding to win their 11th European crown. Bale played a huge part in Real Madrid winning 'La Decima' - their 10th European Cup - when they beat Atletico in the 2014 final. It was the Welshman who scored what turned out to be the winning goal in the 4-1 comeback win in Lisbon. Bale hopes that victory can give Real Madrid a psychological lift ahead of this weekend's game in Milan, despite Atletico having a hold over their near neighbours in recent years.
"They’re a very difficult team to play against. They’re very defensive and tend to park the bus, as people say. We know a lot about them and, yeah, we haven’t had the greatest of record against them in the last 10 games," said Bale, alluding to the fact Real Madrid have beaten Atletico just twice in their last 12 meetings.
"But I suppose we can always look back on the final and when it counts we put in the performance and got the result. Hopefully that’s a scar for them, it won’t give them too much confidence. We’re confident going into the game that we can win like we are in any other game and hopefully we can win our second Champions League."
The Champions League final kicks off at 7.45pm BST on Saturday.
Watch ‘Rio Meets...Gareth Bale’ on BT Sport. BT Sport is your home of unmissable live football, watch the UEFA Champions League final exclusively live from Saturday 28th May from 7pm on BT Sport Europe, BT Sport Showcase, btsport.com and for the first time ever on YouTube at youtube.com/btsportofficial
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