Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 9 December 2019

'Disrespectful. Misguided. Ungrateful': Spaniards round on Gareth Bale after Wales flag celebration

Real Madrid fans claim Welsh star has upset the club with on-field display

CARDIFF, WALES - NOVEMBER 19: Wales celebrate at full time during the UEFA Euro 2020 Group E Qualifier match between Wales and Hungary at the Cardiff City Stadium on November 19, 2019 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)
CARDIFF, WALES - NOVEMBER 19: Wales celebrate at full time during the UEFA Euro 2020 Group E Qualifier match between Wales and Hungary at the Cardiff City Stadium on November 19, 2019 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)

Gareth Bale has been heavily criticised in Spain for celebrating Wales' Euro 2020 qualification by holding up a flag that suggested playing for Real Madrid was third on his list of priorities.

Bale's decision to pose with a giant flag that read "Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order" following the 2-0 victory over Hungary that sealed their place in next year's finals has been lambasted in the Spanish capital and beyond.

Sports daily newspaper Marca's front page headline on Thursday declared "Disrespectful. Misguided. Ungrateful. In that order,", while AS newspaper captioned a picture of the winger playing golf with the message “Bale gets in a hole".

AS went on to say Bale’s behaviour has “annoyed the club” and that “he is becoming a problem,” before imploring new Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho to take him back to his former club.

The paper's Real Madrid editor Tomas Roncero suggested his flag for Bale would read “out, out, out”.

Many more are calling for the 30-year-old, who has fallen out of favour with Real manager Zinedine Zidane and has not featured in a club match since Oct. 5 due to injury, to be permanently axed from the team.

While football talk show presenter Josep Pedrerol implored Real president Florentino Perez to “kick Bale out”, some fans believe the flag stunt was a ploy for Bale to force his way out of the club.

He was set to leave Real for China earlier this year but the transfer fell through at the 11th hour following a change of heart from Perez, who has been Bale’s biggest ally during his time in Spain.

He was also accused of “treating Real Madrid badly,” even though he has helped the team to win four Champions League titles in six seasons with the club, scoring in two of the finals.

Updated: November 21, 2019 05:21 PM

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