An incredible goalscoring record and a slew of big-game performances, yet to be at the receiving end of heckles from 80,000 home fans. What gives?
Welshman Gareth Bale has been heckled and whistled at by the Los Blancos faithful on more than one occasion during his time in the Spanish capital.
It happened on an earlier occasion in the El Clasico defeat to Barcelona in March 2019 after he was replaced by Marco Asensio on the hour mark. Then a separate incident saw him jeered by 80,000 fans in the encounter against Real Sociedad in November just after holding the infamous ‘Wakes, Golf. Madrid. In that order.’ flag on international duty.
It would be an understatement to say the former Spurs man hasn’t exactly had the best rapport with Real supporters and he tried to explain in a wide-ranging interview the impact of being booed by your own supporters has on one’s confidence while throwing in a golf analogy for good measure.
Speaking on the Erik Anders Lang show, Bale said:
“This is the biggest question! I just don’t get it. Because if you’re not having a good time on the pitch, you would expect your fans to get behind you and try and make you do better because that will make them happy. But it seems to be they do the opposite.
“They just whistle you, which makes you feel worse, so you lose your confidence. They you play worse, which is going to make them even more upset. It’s sort of a Real Madrid thing. Other clubs do it, but Real Madrid are especially known for it.
“So, I might have just missed an easy chance to score a goal. And the whistles come and you think: ‘My confidence is already down because I missed an easy goal and now it’s just going even more down.’ And the next time a chance comes the goal seems tiny. It’s like a putt. The goal just gets smaller.”
Bale’s highly questionable, if not comical, antics in recent times have seen him pret ending to fall asleep on the bench, look incredibly bored in La Liga title celebrations and displaying hardly any interest in the 13-time European champions.