Watch: Gareth Bale loudly booed by Real Madrid fans as he plays at the Bernabeu for the first time in over two years
Wales captain Gareth Bale was loudly booed as he made his first competitive appearance at Real Madrid’s home pitch in more than two years during Real Madrid’s 2-0 win over Getafe.
It was the first time the 32 year old had appeared at the Santiago Bernabeu since February 2020 when Madrid were beaten 2-1 by Manchester City in the Champions League.
He has played four league appearances for Real Madrid this season, all away from home.
Real coach Carlo Ancelotti told reporters that fans would have to get used to seeing Gareth Bale playing.
“The booing is understandable but our fans need to understand that their support is very important too,” he said.
“Yes, Bale was booed but he is a serious professional, he is doing well in training and if necessary he will play this final stretch of the season. The fans have to understand that.”
Gareth Bale missed Real Madrid’s 4-0 defeat by Barcelona with a back injury days before scoring twice for Wales in their 2-1 World Cup qualification play off against Austria.
The booing follows accusations in the Spanish press that Gareth Bale was a “parasite” at the club.
Despite helping Real Madrid to 14 trophies, Marca last month accused the footballer who earns £15m a year of “sucking up the club’s money.
Gareth Bale posted a message on social media responding to Marca’s “slanderous, derogatory and speculative”.
“At a time where people are taking their own lives because of the callousness and relentlessness of the media, I want to know, who is holding these journalists and the news outlets that allow them to write articles like this, accountable?” he asked.
“Fortunately I have developed a thick skin during my time in the public spotlight, but that doesn’t mean articles like these don’t cause damage and upset personally and professionally to those at the receiving end of these malicious stories.
“I have witnessed the toll the media can take on peoples mental and physical health.
“The media expect superhuman performances from professional athletes, and will be the first to celebrate with them when they deliver, yet instead of commiserating with them when they show an ounce of human error, they are torn to shreds instead, encouraging anger and disappointment in their fans.
“The everyday pressures on athletes is immense, and It’s as clear as day, how negative media attention could easily send an already stressed athlete, or anybody in the public eye, over the edge.
“I hope that by the time our children are of an age where they are able to ingest news, that journalism ethics and standards will have been enforced more stringently.
“So I want to use my platform to encourage change in the way we publicly talk about, and criticise people, simply for the most part, not meeting the often unrealistic expectations that are projected onto them.
“We all know who the real Parasite is!”
In its article, Marca depicted Gareth Bale as a mosquito and said: “The Bale parasite came from the cold and rainy Britannia.
“He settled in Spain, at Real Madrid, where, masked, he first showed diligence and love for the guest, but then his nature led him to suck blood without giving anything in return. Well, more than blood, he sucked, and sucks, the club’s euros.
“Unlike others of its kind, such as the flea, the louse or the bedbug, the Bale parasite does not cause itching or illnesses in its host, but after sucking, it laughs and makes fun of it, showing a jocular contempt for the one from whom he lives.
“He laughs, applauds, throws himself on the ground, sings, as a kind of humiliating ceremony, which, luckily, has an expiration date, like all misfortunes.”
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