Former Real Madrid star Kaka has told Gareth Bale to use the criticism he has received this season as a spur “to get stronger”.
Bale, who joined Real from Tottenham Hotspur for a reported world-record sum in the summer of 2013, has endured a tough second campaign and has been jeered by the club’s own supporters at times.
The forward started the first half of the season impressively, culminating in him scoring in the FIFA World Club Cup final against San Lorenzo in December – the third major final Bale has scored in for Madrid.
However, since the start of year Bale has had to deal with being booed by a small section of his own fans during a league encounter at home to Espanyol after opting to shoot rather than pass to team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo.
Kaka, who played for Real between 2009 and 2013, has warned Bale everyone must deal with the unique pressure of playing at the world’s biggest club, and that the 25-year-old should use it as a motivational tool to improve his game.
“I’ve never played with Bale, but I would say to him to use the pressure to help himself grow his motivation and confidence,” the Orlando City playmaker said in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports.
“In Madrid, pressure is normal. It’s not just with him, it’s with everybody. Even Cristiano [Ronaldo], who has won two Ballon d’Or’s with Real Madrid, receives whistles from the Bernabeu.
“He needs to use this opportunity to get stronger. That is my advice for Bale.