Real Madrid's Bale not bothered by 'rubbish' criticism - agent

Gareth Bale has shrugged off criticism of his performance in Real Madrid's win at Levante on Sunday, with his agent telling ESPN FC that "this rubbish does not bother him."

Bale came on as a substitute with the score at 1-1 and converted the match-winning penalty, but he appeared to shun attempts by teammates to celebrate the goal.

That led to criticism, with AS accusing him of a "deplorable attitude" and TV station Cuatro airing footage in which the Wales international appeared to snub Madrid fitness coach Antonio Pintus during his warm-up before coming on.

But asked by ESPN FC whether Bale had been affected by the reaction, agent Jonathan Barnett said: "As always, Gareth is OK. This rubbish does not bother him."

Marca recently reported that Bale had been upset by interviews given by teammates Marcelo and Thibaut Courtois in which it was revealed that he does not speak much Spanish in the dressing room and is nicknamed "the golfer" by teammates.

But Barnett stressed that the winger had "no problem" with any of his colleagues.

Former Tottenham star Bale has started only two of Madrid's eight games since returning from injury absence, but coach Santi Solari said after Sunday's game that he was pleased with his performance and had no issue with what followed his goal.

Bale's supposed poor attitude was the major talking point of Tuesday's pre-Copa Clasico news conference at Madrid's Valdebebas training ground, with coach Solari calmly answering each time without giving away his real feelings about the situation.

"Our focus is on tomorrow's game, a beautiful game where we have had to come through many rounds to reach," Solari said. "The first game was very nice for the fans, and tomorrow our focus is on playing another nice game, nowhere else. Gareth's focus, and all the players."

Solari would not reveal anything about his team plans for Wednesday's game at the Bernabeu, but maintained that all around the club were solely focused on the game against their biggest rivals.

"We have worked very hard to get to this stage of the season still competing on three fronts, come through difficult games in the Copa," Solari added. "Now we all want to enjoy this game, and get through to the final. This Clasico always puts Spain as the world capital of football. Football is one of the things which makes Spain a fantastic, marvellous country."

It remains possible that Bale will be suspended for Wednesday's Copa del Rey against Barcelona at the Bernabeu, with a decision on whether his celebration against Atletico Madrid merited punishment.

He has been accused of making a possibly "obscene" gesture to Atletico fans after scoring the final goal in their 3-1 victory.

A Spanish Football Federation committee will make a decision on Wednesday and could impose a ban of one to three or four to 12 games, which could also see him sit out Saturday's league game against Barca at the Bernabeu.