Gareth Bale: 'Disrespectful, misguided, ungrateful'

Spanish sport front pages Thursday 21 November 2019
Spanish sport front pages Thursday 21 November 2019

Real Madrid striker Gareth Bale has received heavy criticism in the Spanish media after celebrating Wales Euro 2020 qualification with a contentious flag.

Marca's response to Bale posing with a "Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order" flag was to run a headline of 'Disrespectful. Misguided. Ungrateful. In that order.'

The AS newspaper ran "Bale gets in a hole", in a jibe at his love of golf.

Bale has not featured for Real since 5 October but returned to play for Wales.

His return for international duty with Wales for crucial wins against Azerbaijan and Hungary was dubbed by the Spanish media as the 'Miracle in Wales'.

One former Real player turned media analyst, Pedja Mijatovic, recently said of Bale: "The first thing he thinks about is Wales, then golf and after that, Real Madrid."

Wales fans turned that criticism into a 'Wales. Golf. Madrid' chant which Bale himself admittedexternal-link he found amusing.

His decision to pose with a flag bearing the motto after the 2-0 victory over Hungary that sealed Wales' Euro 2020 qualification has unsurprisingly not gone down well back in Spain.

Marca describe Bale's celebration as "unworthy of Madrid" but say the former Tottenham Hotspur winger won't be punished and indicate the Wales striker still has some support in the Spanish capitalexternal-link.

The newspaper's front page also says the club and manager Zinedine Zidane fear the reaction of fans on Saturday when they host Real Sociedad in La Liga.

Madrid based paper AS reportexternal-link Real Madrid's hierarchy consider it "a joke in very bad taste" and claim "his mockery has filled Madrid's patience."

Spanish newspaper Marca ran a poll which at 23:30 GMT on Tuesday saw 75% of respondents label Bale's celebration as showing 'a lack of respect for the club and fans'

Bale has long been criticised in Spainexternal-link for preferring a round of golf and prioritising playing for Wales over turning out for his club.

When asked about the sarcasm aimed at him in Spain when he arrived at the latest international camp, Bale said: "I've heard some stories but I don't really take notice.

"My friends tend to send me some funny pictures or whatever they write.

"I find it hilarious to be honest, especially some of the pictures and stuff my friends send me.

"On one, it said 'triple bogey' and I've never had a triple bogey! At least give me an albatross! It's funny."