Madrid winger Bale takes criticism of form with a ‘pinch of salt’

Gareth Bale scored twice in Wales' European Qualifying victory over Israel.

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Gareth Bale insists he has nothing to prove to anybody after playing a starring role in a vital victory for Wales in Saturday’s European Qualifier in Israel.

The Real Madrid man came into the match under scrutiny, having been criticized for his recent club form by Real supporters and the Spanish media.

His car was attacked by fans after last week’s 2-1 loss to Barcelona, but he responded with a fantastic performance in Haifa, setting up Aaron Ramsey’s opener and then scoring twice in the second-half.

"I don’t need to answer the critics," Bale said after the match.

"I know, and everyone around me knows, what I can do.

"There are ups and downs in football. You have to take it with a pinch of salt and all you can do is respond with your performances on the pitch, like that.

"I don’t feel I need to prove anyone wrong or right, I just need to play my football.

"I love playing for Wales. It’s a big honor and the most important thing is I focus on my football and I don’t listen to anyone else.

"I’m just enjoying my football with the boys."

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Wales now have a great chance of reaching Euro 2016, the win having taken them to the top of Group B.

Asked if it was as good a Wales performance as he can remember, Bale said: "Yes, definitely, especially away from home, and especially the pressure we were under.

"It’s probably the biggest game we’ve had in 12 years or so and, to perform under pressure like that, gives us a lot of belief and confidence going forward.

"It’s a statement. It’s no secret we want to qualify and to qualify we have to win hard games.

"We have to come to places like this and win, and we certainly did that.

"It’s obviously great to score for Wales and all that comes with it, but the most important thing was the victory.

"We put a great performance in. We just worked hard and every single player on the pitch deserves the credit."