David Beckham has backed Gareth Bale to return to his best at Real Madrid – claiming the Welshman had the "perfect" first season at the club last term.
Bale has come under intense scrutiny this season and there have been several reports linking him with a move back to the Premier League in the summer after he was whistled by his own supporters on several occasions.
The Welshman, however, appeared to silence some of his critics with a brace in Real Madrid’s 2-0 win against Levante last weekend.
And Beckham, who was the last British midfielder to play for the Spanish giants, believes there is still more to come from the former Tottenham star.
"Gareth had the perfect season last year – he scored important goals," Beckham told Spanish newspaper AS.
"He arrived at Real Madrid as one of the most expensive players in football, so there was always going to be expectations.
"Gareth is one of the best players in the world and he’s joined a team with a lot of other great players.
"To play with Cristiano [Ronaldo], to play with Sergio [Ramos], to play with Iker [Casillas] and all the other players he’s playing with, that’s going to make him a better player.
"Last season was a perfect season for him; this season, he’s still doing well but there’s always going to be moments when doesn’t do as well in games -that’s normal as he is one of the best players.
"He’s scored great goals already this season and he’s a great character. For me, he’s one of the best."