The Big Reason why Bale and Real haven’t parted ways is Pointless
‘I definitely have more excitement playing for Wales’, Gareth Bale said, ahead of his country’s EURO 2020 qualifying game with Azerbaijan. ‘With Wales, I’m speaking my own language and feel more comfortable’. Bale didn’t make any comparisons, but everyone knew he meant he found football for Wales much more enjoyable than he does with Real Madrid. Everyone knew, not least Real Madrid and the Spanish media.
Wales won the game against Azerbaijan, then triumphed at home to Hungary to seal a second successive European Championship appearance. That victory against the Hungarians was followed by a celebratory post-match flag which read ‘Wales. Golf. Madrid’, which was definitely some sort of response to former Real striker Predrag Mijatovic commenting about how Bale puts Wales and golf ahead of playing with Real Madrid.
It’s another installment in the relationship between Bale and Los Blancos, with the club having stated that the flag was ‘a bad joke’. Bale’s relationship with Real Madrid has been fraught for more than a while now, right from the Welshman talking after the 2018 Champions League final – in which he scored twice – that he needed to play more, and admitting to feeling angry.
Then Zinedine Zidane as manager in May that year, and while the tenures of Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari didn’t quite see him become the star of the side, he still featured much frequently, and the return of Zidane meant a reversion to Bale being on the sidelines. From Zidane making comments like ‘it’s clear what I did’ when dropping Bale for a game and ‘he’s not injured, but he’s not available’, it’s more than obvious where Zidane stands when it comes to the winger.
Not that Bale’s rather unfair treatment at Real is down to Zidane; even before the Frenchman first took the reins in 2016, Bale was subject to much flak from the Los Blancos fans, which were more often than not unreasonable. But it seems to have been amplified in Zidane’s tenure, and even some players have spoken in criticism of their teammate.
Bale and Real Madrid have long since reached their endgame, he hasn’t played for Real since the start of October. Even when Bale was featuring at the start of the season, we all knew it wouldn’t last, with Bale having spoken of not ‘playing happily’, but at least playing. This relationship is not so much on its deathbed, but rather has died, and no one seems keen on a funeral. Yet leaving seems to be the problem. Bale was close to a move to China in the summer, but Real made an eleventh-hour u-turn, and that move to the far east fell through. Other clubs are quite interested, but no one else is willing to pay his astronomical wages.
So, why don’t Bale just take a wage cut and play elsewhere? If he truly finds football at Real not quite exciting (at least compared to Wales), surely he should just move and take a deduction in wages. How much money does he really need? Or why didn’t Real simply let him go in the summer? If he had become an unnecessary figure in the side, and given that they seem keen to let him go, why didn’t they let the China move happen? How much money do they need?
This is relationship that is not helping either side; a move for Bale would have seen him gone somewhere else, somewhere appreciated and where he could enjoy regular football again; while letting him go would mean Real getting rid of a rather expensive and unnecessary player in the side, aiding the wage bill, and both parties would have put this behind them.
Yet, here they both are. Bale wants to leave but won’t go. Real want him gone but won’t let him leave. So, both sides continue to sit at the table, staring at each other, one waiting for the other to blink, and in doing so both are hurting their eyes.
Kunle Ajao121 Posts
Kunle Ajao is a football writer and columnist for spotkick. Having made a toss of himself trying to actually play the game, he knew better and got a pen instead of boots. Spends a bit of his time with the game, and thinks he's a bit like Sid Lowe. He's not