Ex-Madrid ace thinks Bale is the Real deal

Former Real Madrid winger Luis Figo believes former ex-Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale has already proved himself in Spain.

Gareth Bale's goal against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday night was his 17th for Los Blancos since his reported £85 million move to the Bernabeu from Tottenham last summer.

His well taken third-minute strike set Carlo Ancelotti's men on their way to a comfortable 3-0 victory in the home leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie. It was the 24-year-old winger's fifth goal in this season's competition.

However, despite a good first season with the Spanish giants, some Madrid fans have been critical of the Wales international, accusing him of being a selfish player and failing to reproduce the kind of form that prompted Real to pay a world record fee for his services.

Bale struggled with injuries following his arrival in Spain but since regaining fitness he has regularly shown signs of the brilliance that saw him named the PFA Player of the Year in England last season.

He scored twice in the 5-0 La Liga win over Rayo Vallecano at the weekend but was the subject of whistles of disapproval by fans at the Bernabeu.

But with 12 assists to his name and as he closes in on the 20-goal mark, Figo insists Bale has already proved to be a valuable addition to the Real ranks.

``He did not start the season strongly because he was not physically prepared, but he has great quality,`` Figo is reported as saying in Spanish newspaper Marca.

``He needed to make a rapid transition from English football and Madrid play a more organised attack, so he had to adapt to that. He has already proven so.

``Now he needs space because one of his virtues is speed.``

Figo, now aged 41, won the La Liga title with Madrid in 2001 and 2003 and the Champions League in 2002.

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