Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane insists Gareth Bale is still a part of his plans despite the “noise” surrounding him right now.
Bale was a part of the Wales side which qualified for Euro 2020 with a 2-0 win over Hungary on Tuesday and during the celebrations after the final whistle, he was spotted with a flag which read: “Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order”.
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- Bale has scored over 100 goals in all competitions during his seven years at Real Madrid.
- During that time, he’s helped the club win four Champions League titles, a La Liga and a Copa del Rey.
- But he has often cut a controversial figure in the eyes of Real Madrid fans.
- The latest incident saw him pictured with a banner which read “Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order” following Wales’ 2-1 win over Hungary.
- But Zidane insists Bale remains in his plans, while the Welshman dismissed the flag as “a bit of fun”.
Despite scoring winning goals in Copa del Rey and Champions League finals, Bale has never quite been taken to heart by Los Blancos supporters, who have often questioned his commitment to recovering from injury.
The 30-year-old has also been criticised for his golfing habit, with his teammates even nicknaming him “the golfer” – this latest incident is sure to vilify himself further in the eyes of Real Madrid fans, with Spanish newspaper Marca printing the headline “Disrespectful. Unwise. Ungrateful. In that order” the day after the Wales match.
Zidane was questioned heavily about Bale during his Friday press conference but the Real boss has moved to calm the situation, insisting the most important thing now is for the Welshman to focus on his football.
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“There is a lot of noise around Gareth, but ultimately the most important thing for me as a Coach and him as a footballer is to focus on the game,” Zidane said.
“Everyone has an opinion, everyone has thoughts and the opinions are too much already. He went to join Wales, he played and now we get him back again, and we’re delighted to have him back.
“He has given a lot to the club and I am only going to look at issues relating to football. There are a lot of comments that have been made about other things but I’m not interested in that, even if others are.
“I’m not going to answer any more questions about him. You do what you want but I’m just going to say the same thing so there is no point.”
Bale started on the bench for Real Madrid’s La Liga clash against Real Sociedad on Saturday evening, with Rodrygo picked ahead of him.
Bale: It’s a good bit of fun
The flag Bale celebrated with came about as an adaptation of Wales supporters’ ‘Viva Gareth Bale’ chant and the forward – who has two goals and two assists in six La Liga games so far this season – admits he did hear the song but insisted it’s just “a bit of fun”.
“I’ve heard it (the chant), especially when I was on the bench and when I came off, and the boys were laughing,” Bale told Sgorio Cymru earlier this week.
“It’s a good bit of fun.”