Exclusive: Real Madrid favourite reveals what life is really like for Gareth Bale in Spain

“I needed to go to restaurants with my wife and for somebody not to understand what I was saying.

“I needed to say ‘is this duck?’ and make duck noises and flap my arms around. Then I’d think what an idiot I was and that I needed to learn the language as quickly as possible.”

The image of McManaman, off whose tongue Spanish names and words bounce like a well-struck volley, attempting to order duck in a restaurant by flapping his arms is a comical one.

The idea of Bale having to do the same is beyond comprehension: his translator, or his iPhone, or his English-speaking Madrid-supporting doting waiter would fill the gap where McManaman’s acting previously had to.

Cristiano Ronaldo , as Barcelona stars Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez are said to do.

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