Bale fully focused on football

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Published: Sunday 29th March 2015 by The News Editor

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Gareth Bale insisted he had no need to answer his critics after his two-goal show in Israel inspired Wales to take top spot in their Euro 2016 group.

Bale, the world’s most expensive player, came into the vital Group B qualifier in Haifa with his form at Real Madrid under huge scrutiny from both supporters and the Spanish media and his car being attacked at the club’s training complex in the wake of the 2-1 Clasico defeat to bitter rivals Barcelona.

But Bale responded to the criticism by scoring twice in a comfortable 3-0 victory which took Wales above Israel to the top of the group at the halfway stage of the qualifying campaign.

“I don’t need to answer the critics,” Bale said after he added to Aaron Ramsey’s opener with a second-half brace at the Sammy Ofer Stadium.

“I know, and everyone around me knows, what I can do.

“There are ups and downs in football, you have to take it with a pinch of salt and all you can do is respond with your performances on the pitch, like that.

“I don’t feel I need to prove anyone wrong or right, I just need to play my football.

“I love playing for Wales. It’s a big honour and the most important thing is I focus on my football and I don’t listen to anyone else, what they’re saying.

“I’m just enjoying my football with the boys.”

Bale’s double saw him become the joint sixth goalscorer in Welsh history alongside Cliff Jones, Mark Hughes and Robert Earnshaw.

The 25-year-old has now scored 16 goals in 49 Wales games and he has now moved past the legendary John Charles, who scored 15 goals for his country.

“It’s obviously great to score for Wales and all that comes with it, but the most important thing was the victory,” Bale said.

“We put a great performance in, we just worked hard and every single player on the pitch deserves the credit.”

Asked if it was as good a Wales performance as he could recall, Bale replied: “Yes definitely, especially away from home, and especially the pressure we were under.

“It’s probably the biggest game we’ve had in 12 years or so and to perform under pressure like that gives us a lot of belief and confidence going forward.

“It’s a statement. It’s no secret we want qualify and to qualify we have to win hard games.

“We have to come to places like this and win and we certainly did that.”

Published: Sunday 29th March 2015 by The News Editor

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