Real Madrid star Gareth Bale has scored a superb half-volley in training after returning to Spain following the international break.
The Wales international, who scored twice against Israel last Saturday, looked full of confidence as he took a touch with his chest before lashing the ball past the goalkeeper in front of the watching Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Bale has come in for some heavy criticism of late, from the Real Madrid supporters and the Spanish media in particular, but will be looking to silence his critics by hitting top form during these final weeks of the season.
Bale heavily criticised in recent weeks
The 25-year-old, who is officially the most expensive footballer of all time, was blasted for his disappointing display in the Clasico prior to the international break and will be looking to make amends for that performance against Granada on Sunday - a match which, on paper, looks relatively straight-forward for Los Blancos.
Before the 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid, Bale scored both goals in a 2-0 win over Levante - but his match-winning exploits were overshadowed by the bizarre reactions of Ronaldo.
The Portuguese superstar was visibly frustrated that it was Bale and not him who scored both goals - actions which did little to quash speculation suggesting an unhealthy rivalry is developing between the two players.
Video: Bale scores screamer in training
Ancelotti's problem to solve
It’s the responsibility of Real Madrid’s under-fire manager Carlo Ancelotti to get the best out of Bale, who had gone nine matches without scoring a single goal prior to his brace against Levante on March 15.
The former Tottenham star, who is reportedly wanted by Manchester United and Chelsea, proved against Israel last weekend that handing him increased responsibility on the pitch can have huge benefits - but it often seems as if he’s playing second-fiddle to Ronaldo at the Bernabeu.
Room for both Ronaldo and Bale at the Bernabeu?
It was shown last season that there is room for both Ronaldo and Bale at Real Madrid, but the team will only flourish if they’re both singing from the same hymn sheet and working towards achieving the same objectives.
Is Ronaldo too focused on his own personal goals? Is he so obsessed with being remembered as the greatest footballer of all time that it’s actually harming Real Madrid? These are the difficult questions that the likes of Ancelotti and Florentino Perez will need to ask themselves this summer.
As things stand, Bale is set to stay at Real Madrid beyond this summer - but that could all change depending what happens over the next few weeks.
Should Gareth Bale leave Real Madrid this summer? Have your say in the comments below!
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