Gareth Bale’s well-publicised celebration of Wales’ Euro 2020 qualification will inflame his relationship with Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane, according to Los Blancos’ former president Ramon Calderon.
In the aftermath of his country’s 2-0 win over Hungary on Tuesday, Bale was pictured behind a banner that read: “WALES. GOLF. MADRID… IN THAT ORDER”.
The slogan stems from a chant sung by Wales fans that pokes fun at the Spanish media’s portrayal of Bale, who has been accused of placing Madrid low down his list of priorities and spending too much time playing golf.
The 30-year-old almost left for China during the close season and recently admitted he gets more enjoyment from playing for the national team than Madrid.
Calderon, Madrid’s president from July 2006 to January 2009, believes the events of Tuesday could cost Bale a place in Zidane’s matchday squad, with Los Blancos set to host high-flying Real Sociedad in LaLiga on Saturday.
“It’s going to be difficult for Bale now because it was very childish of him to pose behind that banner,” Calderon told The Athletic.
“Fans are very angry because of course they didn’t like that, bearing in mind he has hardly played for the team this season then he goes off on international duty with Wales and plays in two matches.
“It’s a difficult situation for Zidane and he won’t be happy with Bale for posing with that banner.
“Bale hasn’t done himself any favours with this. He’s adding fuel to the fire and it’s going to be difficult for Zidane to include him in the starting line-up and also the bench.”
See you at #EURO2020 !
Well played, Wales! pic.twitter.com/KSEbQi9WC3
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@UEFAEURO) November 19, 2019
Bale was reportedly on the cusp of joining Jiangsu Suning in July, only for the deal to fall through at the last minute.
Calderon advised the four-time Champions League winner to pursue a return to Tottenham, where Jose Mourinho is now charge.
“He was linked with going to China but that is only for players who are at the end of their careers or who go for money,” he said.
“Bale has at least three or four more years at the top level. Could he join Jose Mourinho at Tottenham? Why not? It depends on what Mourinho thinks of him but I’m sure the fans at Tottenham have very good memories of him there.
“For Bale to go back to where he really belongs would be ideal for everyone, because going to China would be a pity.”