Agent: No rift between Bale, Ronaldo

Gareth Bale's agent, Jonathan Barnett, has dismissed speculation that the Welshman and his Real Madrid team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo hate each other.

Barnett has insisted that while the pair are not the best of friends, reports of bitter hatred between the pair are off the mark.

"They don't go out eating every night together, but it's fine. There's no hatred there," Barnett told The Guardian. "Gareth is a quiet guy. They're complete opposites.

"But I think Gareth can learn a little bit from Ronaldo as well, interacting maybe a little bit. But he wants his own life and he lives it."

Barnett added that Bale is solely focused on his football career rather than off-field commitments, in contrast to Ronaldo who regularly features in modeling and advertising campaigns.

"Gareth is a great footballer, he doesn't want anything more. He has some very good endorsements but his whole life is to be the best footballer in the world," said Barnett. "I don't think he wants to be the best model in the world or the best underwear seller. That's not him."

Bale struggled at times last season, and came in for criticism from a number of people, including former Manchester United captain Roy Keane who said that Bale was such a peripheral figure during Madrid's Champions League semi-final first leg clash with Juventus that they were effectively playing with 10 men.

Unimpressed by the attack on his client, Barnett came to Bale's defence, asserting that his team-mates weren't passing to him. While he was criticised for his statements, Barnett stands by his decision to speak out.

“I had an analysis made and it was true. I know Mr Ancelotti had a go at me. But then I’m still an agent and he’s not a manager. So one of us is right,” he said.

Madrid fans have also taken aim at Bale at times, and his car was kicked and punched by Madrid supporters following a 2-1 loss to Barcelona in March. 

However, Barnett has put that incident down to the fact that die-hard Ronaldo fans chose to take their frustrations out on Bale rather than their idol. 

"I think there's a great love of Ronaldo. I think that the new guard is coming and there's some resentment, perhaps, to that. But I think things will change," Banett said.

"Gareth's now playing in a better position [more centrally], where he wants to play. I've always said it, I think he'll be the best player in the world in the next couple of years."

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