Gareth Bale incensed Real Madrid supporters after posing with a “Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order” flag after their Euro 2020 victory.
Aaron Ramsey’s double against Hungary ensured Ryan Giggs’ side of qualification for next summer’s tournament on Tuesday night.
Bale has been targeted with repeated criticism for his love of golf throughout his time in Madrid, with a columnist in Spanish newspaper AS recently claiming: ”The first thing he thinks about is Wales, then golf and after that, Real Madrid.”
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Wales’ fans quickly turned the slight into a chant for their captain, who admitted he finds it “amusing” ahead of the game.
Then, as Wales celebrated their victory at the Cardiff City Stadium, the entire squad posed in front of a banner with the quote on.
Bale has not played for Madrid since 5 October and his return to international duty was sarcastically dubbed “the miracle in Wales” by some members of the Spanish press.
A poll by Marca last night found that 75 per cent of Madrid supporters found Bale’s celebration showed a “lack of respect for the club and fans”.
“I’ve heard some stories but I don’t really take notice,” Bale said earlier this week. “My friends tend to send me some funny pictures or whatever they write.
“I find it hilarious to be honest, especially some of the pictures and stuff my friends send me. On one, it said ‘triple bogey’ and I’ve never had a triple bogey! At least give me an albatross! It’s funny.
“Maybe to them [the Spanish media] it doesn’t look great but it’s just a kind of coincidence that the national team comes around this week and I’ve returned to full training.
“If I’m fit, no matter where I am, I’m going to try to play, whether it be for Wales or Madrid. For me it was a no-brainer: if I’m fit to play then I’ll give it my all.”