Real Madrid's Gareth Bale cites difference in team since departure of Cristiano Ronaldo

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Bale, 29, was often left in the shadows of the record-breaking Ronaldo since joining the club for a then world-record £90m transfer and saw his career disrupted by injury.

However, since the absence of the five-time Ballon d'Or winner this season after making a club-record £88.8m move to Juventus, the Welshman has thrived with three goals and two assists in the opening four games.

Along with Bale's improved form, fellow striker Karim Benzema netted four in his first three games, a tally he took 25 games to reach last season.

"Obviously it's going to be a little different from having such a big player there," Bale told the Daily Mail when asked about life without the club legend.

"It's maybe a bit more relaxed, yes. I suppose there is more of a team, more working as one unit rather than one player."