The best and worst moments of Gareth Bale winding up the Spanish press

Cackling on the sidelines at Eden Hazard, practising his golf swing in training and THAT Wales flag… Gareth Bale’s long history of winding up Real Madrid as Spanish media continue to rip into him

  • Gareth Bale is known for having a difficult relationship with the Spanish media
  • They have slated the Wales international’s commitment to his club, Real Madrid
  • The news outlets say he has been prioritising international football and even golf
  • Therefore, they called him a ‘parasite’ ahead of his crunch clash with Austria 

Gareth Bale had been labelled a ‘parasite’ by the Spanish media for his perceived  poor commitment to Real Madrid and preference for international football ahead of Wales’ crunch clash with Austria. 

Bale knew he had to make an impact at the Cardiff City Stadium on Thursday night and that’s exactly what he did. The 32-year-old proved his doubters wrong by delivering a stunning brace to lead Wales to within one game of the Qatar World Cup. 

However, Bale’s comments after the game will have done little to win the Spanish media over as he slated their coverage of his career- claiming they should be ‘ashamed of themselves’. 

The Wales captain said: ‘It’s disgusting and they should all be ashamed of themselves. It’s a waste of my time. I’m not fussed. End of.’

Bale’s animosity with the Spanish media began when he first joined Real Madrid and received criticism for failing to live up to expectations. Things greatly improved as he scored crucial goals in two Champions League finals for Real, winning the trophy four times in all with the club.

But as a long line of injuries gradually took their toll on Bale, so patience wore thin in Madrid, and with the Spanish media. 

The news outlets felt as though he was prioritising international football and even a round of golf over his club duties at Real Madrid. 

And although Bale has defended his love of golf and argued his commitment to Real Madrid, his actions have sometimes done little to support his case.  

Gareth Bale (above) proved his doubters wrong on Thursday night by scoring a brace for Wales

Marca mocked up Bale as a mosquito feeding on the Real crest after labelling him a ‘parasite’ and accusing him of ‘sucking’ the club’s money despite him helping them to win 14 trophies 

But his two goals for Wales on Thursday show he is still capable of top class displays

The Real outcast has been pictured playing a round of golf after saying he was ‘too ill’ to travel with the Real squad. He’s been seen dancing and singing with a ‘Wales. Golf. Madrid’ banner. And he’s spent time practising his swing in training rather than taking part in drills. 

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Bale has failed to get the news outlets in Spain on his side following his arrival at the club in 2013. 

So, with all that in mind… Sportsmail have rounded up all of the scrapes Bale has had with the Spanish media since he left Tottenham.   

Bale came under fire for singing and dancing with a Welsh flag bearing the lyrics to the song ‘Wales. Golf. Madrid’ in 2019. 

The Real Madrid outcast was seen celebrating with his team-mates after Wales sealed their qualification for Euro 2020 with a win over Hungary.  

Bale was struggling for minutes in the Spanish capital at the time of the incident – having been shunned by then-manager Zinedine Zidane. 

Bale was seen with a Welsh flag with the lyrics to the song ‘Wales. Golf. Madrid’ in 2019

 The incident irritated Spanish news outlets as Bale (above) previously said he got more of a thrill when pulling on the red shirt of Wales than at any other time in football

Spanish media outlets slammed Bale for the move, with Marca hitting back by claiming the winger’s actions were ‘Disrespectful. Wrong. Ungrateful. In that order.’

The severity of the incident was also heightened by the fact Bale had previously admitted that he got more of a thrill when pulling on a Wales shirt than at any other time in football. 

Asked if playing for Wales allowed him to rediscover the joy of football, Bale said: ‘To an extent. I’ve been with most of the older players since we were in Under-17s.

‘It’s like playing with your mates down the park on a Sunday. It’s normal. With Wales, I’m speaking my own language and feel more comfortable.

Bale played just ten times in the league under Zidane for the rest of the 2019-20 season 

‘I definitely have more excitement playing for Wales. But it doesn’t change what I do on the pitch. I always give 100 per cent on the pitch wherever I am, that’s what I always strive to do.’    

As a result of the incident in November, Bale played just ten times in the league under Zinedine Zidane for the rest of the 2019-20 season and was shipped out on loan to former club Tottenham in the following campaign.  

Golf swing pose in squad training picture 

Bale is known for his love of golf and previously defended his passion during an interview with PGA Tour host Erik Anders Lang. 

Bale said: ‘A lot of people have problems with me playing golf, I don’t know what the reason is. I’ve spoken to doctors and everybody’s fine with it.

‘The media have this perception that it’s not good for me. ‘You should be resting, it can cause problems, injuries.’

Gareth Bale (right) practicing his golf swing during a Real Madrid team photo in June 2020

Bale defended his love of golf during an interview with PGA Tour host Erik Anders Lang 

‘In America, I know Steph Curry plays maybe on the morning of a game. Here, if I play two days before a game it’s like, ‘what’s he doing?”. 

Although Bale clearly recognises the Spanish media’s dismay with his hobby, he continues to play golf and even tries to win the news outlets up.    

Bale was pictured practicing his golf swing while his Real Madrid team-mates posed for a squad photo at training in June 2020.  

Bale – who appeared in a playful mood while training in Madrid – was pictured standing away from his team-mates, replicating his golf swing, as others huddled together for a photo.

El Confidential said the pose ‘mocked journalists’ who ‘associate his golf practice with injuries and disinterest in playing football’. 

Bale seen laughing at Eden Hazard 

Bale hit the headlines again in February of this year after he was caught laughing at his Real Madrid team-mate Eden Hazard for being sent back to the bench despite warming up.  

Ancelotti sent Hazard back to the bench in the 75th minute of Real Madrid’s 1-0 Copa del Rey defeat by Athletic Bilbao. He decided to bring on teenager Eduardo Camavinga for Toni Kroos instead. 

Ancelotti made just two subs – introducing Isco for Vinicius Jr earlier in the game – but neither alteration made a difference as Madrid struggled to break down the hosts. 

Gareth Bale couldn’t help but poke fun at his Real Madrid team-mate Eden Hazard in February 

The Welshman took delight in seeing him sent back to the bench after warming up 

Bale couldn’t help but laugh at Ancelotti’s decision making as he was also sent back to the bench despite being told to prepare himself down the touchline.  

As a result, the Welshman – who suffered the ignominy of trudging back to the dugout in his training bib – smirked at his Real Madrid team-mate when the same thing happened to him. 

Bale found it amusing as boss Carlo Ancelotti had done exactly the same thing to him before

Pandemic obsession with golf   

Bale’s love of golf is clear as he has replicas of three of golf’s most iconic holes built at his home in Wales.

Those being the 17th at TPC Sawgrass, with its famous island green, Augusta National’s 12th, the most celebrated hole at the home of the Masters, and Royal Troon’s Postage Stamp, regarded by many as the best par-3 on the Open Championship rota.

Bale made the most of his custom made putting greens during lockdown as football was curtailed due to the pandemic.  

Gareth Bales has used his time in lockdown to turn his attention to his beloved golf 

Bale posted a video on Instagram of his neat stroke, celebrating by raising one arm aloft and grinning at the camera.  

However, Bale’s decision to focus on golf instead of working out at home like his Real Madrid team-mates lead to some serious criticsm. 

Mocked by Mariano  

Bale’s Real Madrid team-mates have taken a more light-hearted approach to the Welshman’s love of golf.  Mariano even mocked the 32-year-old during a team training session in Spain. 

During a passing drill at training in 2019, Mariano flicked the ball to Bale. The Wales international was caught off guard and mis-controlled it.

As a result, the Spaniard turned to Bale and imitated a golf wing to suggest the Wales international should stick to his hobby. The incident caused Bale to burst out laughing. 

Bale’s team-mates have taken a more light-hearted approach to the Welshman’s love of golf

Bale ducks out of Real trip but seen playing golf 

Bale was pictured playing golf while his Real Madrid team-mates were losing to Tottenham – despite claims he was too ill to travel to Munich for the game – in July 2019. 

Zinedine Zidane said Bale was too unwell to go to Germany for a pre-season clash with his former club. But Bale himself had already said he would not be there as he was too distressed after Real Madrid pulled the plug on his £1.2million-a-week move to China.  

Bale was spotted teeing off on the 14th hole at around 8pm on the golf course by El Confidencial, while the game would have kicked off at 6pm Spanish time. 

Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett also confirmed Bale had a round, saying: ‘Yes it’s true, he was helping to clear his head.’ 

Bale was pictured playing golf while his Real Madrid team-mates were losing to Tottenham 

Swapping rehab for golf practice 

Bale appeared to be too busy practicing his golf swing to take part in training ahead of Real Madrid’s clash with Barcelona in the Clasico on December 18, 2019. 

The Welsh international had taken to the pitch as a part of his rehabilitation programme – given his fitness for the looming fixture was in doubt.

However, instead of taking part in the football drills that had been set up for him, Bale decided to work on his golf swing instead.  

Bale appeared to be too busy practicing his golf swing to take part in training back in 2019

Falling asleep during Real Madrid’s victory over Alaves 

Gareth Bale enraged Real Madrid fans by pretending to nod off during Los Blancos’s clash with Alaves in July 2020.  

The Welshman was left on the bench for a fourth time in a row as Real recorded another important win in the 2020-2021 LaLiga title race, beating the visitors 2-0. 

With the chance of him making it onto the pitch being almost non-existent, the winger reclined in his seat, propped his feet up and covered his eyes with a face mask at the fan-free Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano.  

Gareth Bale made Real Madrid fans furious again by pretending to fall asleep in July 2020

He put his mask over his face and laughing with team-mates while on the bench (above)

Spanish newspaper Marca labelled the Welshman ‘shameful’ before publishing the headline: ‘Bale’s image ‘a la Faubert’: His worst photo as a Real Madrid player?’.

Their headline made reference to former West Ham winger Julian Faubert’s bizarre yet underwhelming Madrid loan.

During his spell at the club, Faubert appeared to doze off on the Bernabeu bench back in 2009 during a dramatic 3-2 victory over Villarreal. 

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