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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Gareth Bale did not deserve fan whistles during Real Madrid win - Kroos

Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos has said teammate Gareth Bale did not deserve to be whistled by fans during the 3-0 Champions League win over Apoel Nicosia at the Bernabeu on Wendesday.

Wales international Bale was heckled by a section of the club's fans, continuing a pattern that has seen him criticised by the Madrid crowd this season.

But Kroos backed Bale and said the criticism "does not help anyone."

Speaking to reporters after the game, he said: "It is, of course, not a good thing to whistle against your own players. We gave our all, and Gareth also, and no-one deserved it.

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"This is Real Madrid and everybody wants to see the best of each player, but there are games where it is impossible to play at the best level.

"But one thing is clear -- it does not help anyone."

Madrid midfielder Casemiro also backed Bale, telling Marca: "He was a very strong player for us and I hope he continues to be so.

"With the quality he has, things will be going well for him one day. We try to protect the players we have, we are always defending our own. I am with them until the end.''

The comments come after Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said he did not believe Bale's morale had been affected.

Zidane said: "No player is happy when he is whistled, but I see him [Bale] in good spirits.

"There can be a game when he does not play well or the result is not what is required, but that is inevitable at Madrid -- we cannot avoid that."

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