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Rafael Benitez praises Gareth Bale and claims he can become 'the best'

Gareth Bale hasn't lived up to expectations but Benitez believes he has it in him to become the best.

Gareth Bale and Rafael Benitez when the latter was still in charge of Real Madrid

Former Real Madrid manager, Rafael Benitez, says Gareth Bale has all the right ingredients to become the 'best in the world'. The Spaniard was let go from his coaching role earlier this season after only six months in charge and says the big Welshman was one of the most professional athletes in the Los Blancos dressing room. 

"I never had a moment’s problem with Gareth. He was a very solid professional who listened," the 55-year-old told reporters. "He did his work on the pitch and in the gym too.

"But what I see in him most is improvement. There are areas of his game that he continues to work on. He can get better.

"Obviously, he’s a very good player now. But in a couple of years if he carries on, I don’t see any reason why he could not be regarded as the best."

Gareth Bale moved to Real Madrid in the summer of 2013 for a record-breaking transfer fee but has been unable to live up to his potential that he initially showed for former club Tottenham Hotspurs and his national side, Wales. 

Agreed he's been injured most of this season with minor niggles here and there and when he's started has scored and assisted his teammates often. He's scored 13 goals in just 14 appearances for the Royal Whites this season with only Cristiano Ronaldo boasting of a better goal-to-match ratio. 

Bale has also contributed 9 assists this season in both the Liga and the Champions League and it's clear to see why Benitez rates him so highly. Even with injuries, the Welshman is able to dictate the game the moment he's back the squad. 

All this hard work has attracted interest from Premier League big boys Manchester United and Manchester City who are consistently looking to bring the former Spurs man back to England and with the Real Madrid fans having not warmed up to him yet, he might just consider it. 

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