Football News

“Learn the language” – Former Real Madrid and Wales boss Toshack criticises Bale

By Steve Jennings

Published: 18:00, 31 July 2019 | Updated: 22:29, 20 September 2022

Former Real Madrid and Wales manager John Toshack has criticised Gareth Bale for failing to learn Spanish amid the forward’s ongoing transfer saga.

Bale saw a move to Chinese club Jiangsu Suning fall through earlier this week and looks set to stay with Real Madrid for another season.

Where does Bale stand with Real Madrid? Five key things to know…

  • Zinedine Zidane confirmed the club was working on Bale’s exit earlier this month.
  • The Welshman looked set to seal a free transfer to Jiangsu Suning, where he would earn a reported £1m a week.
  • But Madrid pulled the plug on the deal at the last minute after suddenly requesting a fee for Bale.
  • The La Liga giants left Bale out of their Audi Cup squad and he missed Madrid’s 1-0 defeat to Tottenham.
  • Zidane claims Bale was not fit to join up with the rest of the squad in Munich.

Toshack managed Madrid in two separate spells, winning La Liga with the club in 1989/90 before a trophyless stint in 1999.

The 70-year-old also handed Bale his senior international debut as Wales coach in 2006 but believes the former Spurs star is partly to blame for his situation at the Bernabeu.

“I know how difficult Real Madrid can be,” said Toshack. “Very, very difficult club. I was there twice and nothing comes out from Gareth. Nothing. Only his agent.

“This, that, goodness knows. Sad for football or the football I know and love. Saddens and sickens me, to be honest with you.”

Asked what he would say to Bale personally, Toshack said: “Go and play. Just play the game. Say what you actually think. Don’t have somebody else telling people what should happen. You tell them what you want, what you like, where you want to play. A little bit more personality yourself.

“You don’t need agents or people to talk for you. You speak yourself. I haven’t heard Gareth say anything. I’m reading all this stuff about the criticism that Bale is taking, you know, and it’s justified.

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“Come out Gareth, do an interview. Speak yourself, you’ve been here six or seven years now and you don’t speak the language. That’s an insult to the people you’re working for.

“Everything with Gareth now here is negative because, at the end of the day, Gareth has won things here. He’s been important at Real Madrid over the last five or six years. It’s just a great pity that he hasn’t engaged himself a little bit more with the country that he’s living in, with the supporters that are there every week.

“Gareth, come on, take a little bit of time out and learn the language. Nothing, nothing. And that certainly hasn’t helped him here in Madrid.”

Before the China developments, Bale was linked with a return to the Premier League amid talk of interest from Manchester United and Tottenham.

But it seems no English club is able to match the 30-year-old’s huge wage demands, meaning he is likely to stay in the Spanish capital until January at least.