Real Madrid forward, Gareth Bale has been in a war of wars with the Spanish press as he decided to go all out against the media that have been subjecting him to criticisms.
The new phase of the war between Gareth Bale and the Spanish press started when the 32-year-old Welsh forward was seen keeping a happy face at the camp of Wales national team less than four days after FC Barcelona defeated Real Madrid 4-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The fact that Bale was fit enough to be a part of Wales national team and was not fit enough to play in the last El Clasico did not go down well with the Spanish media.
Recall that Bale was not named in the squad that FC Barcelona humiliated at home last week. He missed the game because he allegedly complained that he was feeling discomfort in his back.
To get back at the Welshman, a Spanish publication, Marca, published a picture of him in Wales’ training kit and wrote a headline across it which read: “it doesn’t hurt anymore”. A journalist from the publication allegedly described Bale as a “parasite”.
To the dismay of his critics, Gareth Bale scored two goals to help Wales beat Austria 2-1 in a FIFA World Cup play-off on Thursday, March 24, 2022. When Bale scored the first goal, he was seen speaking to the camera.
After the victory, Sky Sports asked him if he was sending a specific message to anyone, the Wales international said: “I don’t need to send a message, honestly. It’s a waste of my time. It’s disgusting and they should also be ashamed of themselves. I’m not fussed. End of.”
Despite that, Gareth Bale took to his verified Twitter page to share a lengthy statement lambasting the Spanish media, especially Marca. He accused the media outlet of practicing “slanderous, derogatory and speculative journalism”.
Gareth Bale who has been at Real Madrid since 2013, stressed that the reports of the Spanish newspaper could affect the “mental health” of footballers.
Bale wrote: “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?
“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 people’s 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 can ingest news, 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 criticize 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!”
Marca replies Gareth Bale
In response to Gareth Bale’s attack on Spanish media, Marca published a lengthy article on Friday to rubbish the assertions of the Welshman.
In the article titled: “Never pay attention to Bale”, Marca insisted that Bale lied about his back pain ahead of the El Clasico.
The publication went as far as quoting an unnamed source from Real Madrid who said Bale’s outing with Wales is “one day less for it (his back pain) to stop being a problem”.
The publication concluded by writing: “Last Sunday he decided that the discomfort he felt in his back was enough to say no to the Clasico. Too much to even be on the bench. Four days later he has been decisive in Wales’ win. That’s Bale.”
So far this season, Bale who reportedly earns around £600,000 per week at Real Madrid has managed to play just five games in all competitions in which he scored a goal for Madrid.
But in Wales national team, the 32-year-old winger whose contract with Real Madrid will expire on June 30, 2022, has scored 5 goals and provided three assists in six 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification games.