sport news Gareth Bale fires back at his critics after unsettled summer at

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() Gareth Bale insisted a tumultuous summer at has not been the worst moment of his career as he broke his silence to fire back at the critics.

Speaking for the first time since March, the Wales superstar told the Spanish giants they are the ones with questions to answer over his on-off move to China and said he is happy with the 'golfer' nickname given to him by Madrid team-mate and goalkeeper star Thibaut Courtois.

'I don't listen to the critics because they don't really know what they are on about! I don't read anything and I don't listen to anyone,' Bale said. 

Gareth Bale has returned fire at his critics following an unsettled summer with Real Madrid

Gareth Bale has returned fire at his critics following an unsettled summer with

The Real Madrid star in training with Wales ahead of their Euro 2020 qualifier on Friday night

The star in training with Wales ahead of their Euro 2020 qualifier on Friday night

'I know most people don't know or don't understand the situation. What they write means nothing. It didn't impact on me too much.

'It's obviously not been great, but I wouldn't say it's the worst time of my career. I remember not playing for a year (at Tottenham) under Harry Redknapp.

'It's not been ideal, but I have been here before and I know how to deal with it. I had a great summer holiday. Coming back to pre-season I just kept my head down.

'I know there was a lot of talk with everybody saying whatever they wanted. I just worked hard in training and got myself ready.

'The things that happened will stay private with the club. If you want answers, maybe you need to ask . Football can turn quickly.'

Wales take on Azerbaijan in their latest Euro 2020 qualifier in Cardiff on Friday evening

Wales take on Azerbaijan in their latest Euro 2020 qualifier in Cardiff on Friday evening

Bale trains at the Cardiff City Stadium on Thursday ahead of the game against Azerbaijan

Bale trains at the Cardiff City Stadium on Thursday ahead of the game against Azerbaijan 

Wales Euro 2020 qualifying  

March 24 Slovakia (H) 1-0

June 8 Croatia (A) 1-2

June 11 Hungary (A) 0-1

September 6 Azerbaijan (H)

October 10 Slovakia (A)

October 13 Croatia (H)

November 16 Azerbaijan (A)

November 19 Hungary (H) 

Bale was criticised by Courtois for his love of golf in February and his Madrid team-mate Marcelo also weighed in accusing the Welshman of failing to integrate himself within the team.

He sat out Madrid's summer tour to Germany as he weighted up interest from other clubs and was pictured on the golf course while Real were in action.

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