Dimitar Berbatov believes Gareth Bale has unfairly become Real Madrid's 'whipping boy'

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When Cristiano Ronaldo left Real Madrid last summer, Gareth Bale was the man tipped to fill the gap he left in the team.

That hasn't exactly happened though and Los Blancos have really struggled without the five-time Ballon d'Or winner this season. 

The side are struggling in La Liga after a very poor start to the campaign and currently sit third, nine points behind leaders Barcelona. 

Things have improved in recent months following the dismissal of manager Julen Lopetegui but, it's fair to say that a number of Madrid players have been poor throughout the season. 

Rather unfairly though, Bale has been taking the brunt of the criticism, from fans and the media alike.

They haven't been impressed with how he's failed to step up in Ronaldo's absence, even though a number of his teammates have been even more disappointing. 

Many have been very vocal in criticising the forward, but few have come out to support him. 

But, following Real's embarrassing loss to Girona, in which Bale came on as a second half substitute, former Premier League striker Dimitar Berbatov has jumped to his defence. 

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SUPPORT FROM ANOTHER STRIKER

"Bale seems to get the blame for everything that goes wrong at Real Madrid, which is unfair," Berbatov said in a column for Betfair this week, per Spanish outlet AS

"If you look at his stats - 12 goals in 30 appearances this season - he is still performing, but he is the whipping boy for some reason."

As well as suggesting that the Welsh winger has become Real's 'whipping boy', Berbatov offered Bale some advice. 

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"As a player, if you don't feel appreciated, then you have to move on."

In his prime, Berbatov was one of Europe's top strikers, so his support for Bale should be respected by fans. 

Whether his opinion will change many minds though, is another matter.  

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