Real Madrid officials have labeled Gareth Bale’s Euro 2020 qualification celebrations as ‘a joke in very bad taste’ after the Welshman held aloft a flag which ranked the Spanish club as less important than Wales and golf.
Bale overcame recent injury issues to help his nation secure a 2-0 victory over Hungary on Tuesday evening, and he and his teammates were pictured with a banner that read ‘Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order,’ referring to comments made regarding the 30-year-old’s priorities.
Former Madrid star Predrag Mijatovic recently raised concerns over Bale’s lack of commitment to los Merengues, and his words were the catalyst for a new chant amongst Wales fans, which in turn inspired the controversial banner.
The ex-Tottenham Hotspur star’s actions made the front page of Spanish newspapers, and a source within Madrid described the banner as a ‘joke in very bad taste’ and it has sparked ‘anger, but also indifference’ from club officials, as reported by ESPN .
Sources suggest that some of Bale’s teammates found the banner amusing, but they are worried about the fans’ reaction upon his return from international duty.
There has been a lot of friction between Madrid supporters and the Welshman in recent years, and Tuesday’s actions will only put more strain on their already fractured relationship.
Bale has not featured for his club since October, but he managed to put in key performances in both international fixtures for his country during the break.
Los Blancos’ coach Zinedine Zidane was very open in his desire to sell the ex-Southampton man over the summer, but a move never materialised and Bale worked his way back into los Merengues’ side.
Bale recently admitted that he prefers playing for his country rather than the Spanish giants, and his passion shone through on Tuesday evening, as the forward assisted the opening goal to take Wales to Euro 2020.
The Dragons went into their crunch match with Hungary knowing that they had to win to qualify for the summer tournament, and a brace from ex-Arsenal man Aaron Ramsey carried Ryan Giggs’ men to a deserved victory.