Zinedine Zidane has called for the Real Madrid fans to get behind Gareth Bale despite his well-publicised Wales celebrations this week.
Bale was pictured behind a banner that read ‘WALES. GOLF. MADRID…IN THAT ORDER’ following his country’s 2-0 win over Hungary on Tuesday that secured them qualification to Euro 2020.
The slogan originates from a chant by Wales supporters that pokes fun at perceptions among the Spanish media, who have accused Bale of bumping Madrid down his list of priorities and spending too much time on the golf course.
Bale’s celebration drew the ire of Madrid fans and many in the national media with Marca leading with the headline ‘DISRESPECTFUL. WRONG. UNGRATEFUL. IN THAT ORDER’.
But Madrid head coach Zidane defended Bale, who almost left for China in the close-season, and urged the club’s supporters to get behind the former Tottenham man.
“Those who really support the club, those who come to the stadium, know he’s a Real Madrid player,” he said.
“You shouldn’t look at what goes on elsewhere, you have to support the team, the players, have to get behind the side.
“I will always support my players. Things might go on outside the Real Madrid environment but we’re in this together.”
Zidane was quizzed repeatedly about Bale ahead of Saturday’s home game with Real Sociedad and was quick to highlight the player’s achievements in Spain.
He added: “I think sometimes people go over the top with this topic, everyone has their point of view, we’re here to focus on football.
“I think now it’s almost the snowball effect. I mean he was fit and could play with the national team, he’s here, available and we’re delighted.
“He’s done a lot for this club. I’m only concerned with the sporting side. I’m not here to speak about the rest, I’m not interested. I know a lot of people are but not me.”