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Ryan Giggs hopes the struggles being endured by Gareth Bale at Real Madrid do not tarnish the 31-year-old’s reputation and that he will be “remembered for the fantastic footballer that he is”.
Notable highs have been enjoyed in Madrid – including four Champions League successes - but there have been as many lows.
Bale now finds himself frozen out of the Real picture by Zinedine Zidane, with questions being asked of his commitment and attitude.
Giggs has never had any issue with the talented forward and continues to select him for Wales.
The Manchester United legend is, however, aware that the criticism Bale has attracted over recent years could lead some to forget just how good the former Tottenham man can be when at the peak of his powers.
Giggs told BBC Sport: “I hope he is remembered for the fantastic footballer that he is.
“To score twice in Champions League finals, to win it four times and to score one of the best goals ever seen in a final - things like that don't happen every day.
“I hope he is remembered for those things. He is a player that I've always said can make the difference for me.
“He has also made a difference in key moments for Real Madrid as well. That's what great players do. Big players turn up in the big moments in the big games and he has certainly done that.”
Giggs claims to have no issue with Bale’s lack of club football at present, but admits he may need that situation to change in order for a talismanic figure to remain part of his plans.
The Wales boss added ahead of UEFA Nations League fixtures against Finland and Bulgaria: “It is something I've become accustomed to.
“I have always said the ideal situation is I want my players playing and coming into camp with that match rhythm, but Gareth has been in this situation for quite a long time now.
“He played every game in the qualifiers and when he comes on to camp, he has never been a problem.
“He looks after himself, is experienced and professional enough to do that. So at the moment is it a worry for me? No. That might change, we will have to see in the future.