Wales manager Ryan Giggs says Gareth Bale is a “star among his ranks” ahead of their UEFA Nations League opener.
Giggs will be in charge of his first competitive match as Wales manager since taking over from Chris Coleman and could not praise Bale enough.
The former Manchester United midfielder, who faced criticism while at United for missing a number of Wales friendlies, said he understood Bale’s situation of being at a top club.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, Giggs said: “The thing about Gareth is he’s a superstar but he is also one of the lads and that’s great to see. You know the lads take the mick out of him but you also recognise you have got a star within your ranks.
“He’s not only a great player but a really good bloke as well. With myself at United and Gareth at Real Madrid, you get that pressure week in, week out so you are sort of used to it.
“But as you have seen over the last few years it doesn’t affect him, he relishes more pressure. Bigger the situation, the better he does.”
Bale has scored three goals this season and has 73 goals in total in La Liga for Real Madrid. He also has scored 29 goals for Wales in 70 caps.
Giggs excited ahead of first competitive game
“He started where he finished off last season with that fantastic goal in the Champions League final and even before that the form that he showed up until then,” Giggs added.
“So yeah it’s great. It’s great when the players are doing well for their club, they come to you full of confidence and are fit. That is always a bonus for a national team manager.”