Gareth Bale knew how it would be seen back in the Spanish capital, he just didn’t care. Made a scapegoat and a punchline over the past couple years, the Welsh winger has been pushed to the edge at Real Madrid. The provocative flag he waved after Wales triumphant Euro 2020 qualification win over Hungary was just another episode in what has become an unsalvageable relationship.
“Wales. Golf. Madrid,” read the flag held in front of Bale by his Wales teammates as the player himself grinned mischievously. This has prompted an entirely predictable reaction back in Spain. There has been no shortage of faux outrage and condemnation from pundits who are too aware of the audience they are playing to.
Of course, the majority of the reaction has skipped over the nuance of the message Bale sent by waving the flag. It referenced the way the winger has been characterised by the Madrid media in recent times, putting his love for golf ahead of his commitment to his club. It was surely a barb in the direction of such media figures rather than at Real Madrid and their supporters.
Nonetheless, the drama of this week is just another sign that Bale’s exit from Real Madrid is just a matter of time. Of course, the Welshman came close to leaving the Santiago Bernabeu in the summer only for his move to the Chinese Super League to be called off at the last moment. January will surely see him walk out the door for good.
A return to Tottenham has got a lot more likely with the events of this week in North London. Mauricio Pochettino’s sacking has created an almighty disconnect between Spurs’ decision-makers and those in the stands. Daniel Levy will see Bale as a way to get fans back on-side and so there is a scenario in which the Welshman goes back to Tottenham, either on loan or on a permanent deal.
Jose Mourinho would also welcome the addition of a ready-made superstar as Tottenham’s new manager. Indeed, the pieces are falling into place for Bale to return to the Premier League, finally bringing an end to his tumultuous time at Real Madrid. In truth, he should have left before now, but the point of no return has this week been well and truly passed.
How well do you know European Football? Want to challenge the best Spanish Fantasy Managers? Play www.liga-fantasy.com now.