Gareth Bale will be in Cristiano Ronaldo's shadow until the Portuguese superstar retires but could ultimately be better than his Real Madrid team-mate, according to former England manager Kevin Keegan.
Having moved to the Santiago Bernabeu for a world-record fee from Tottenham in September 2013, Bale helped Real to a Copa del Rey and UEFA Champions League double during his first season in the Spanish capital.
The Wales international endured a testing second campaign, though, and received criticism at times from fans and the media.
Keegan, who has also managed the likes of Newcastle United and Manchester City, believes Bale was unfairly targeted and says the forward can live up to his huge fee.
"I think a lot of people have used him as the whipping boy," Keegan is quoted as saying by BBC Sport.
"Because of the fee, people relate that and think he's got to be better than Ronaldo. He isn't yet but he could be one day.
"He's also going to be in the shadow of someone like Ronaldo at least until Ronaldo retires."
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