Gareth Bale has faced staunch criticism in La Liga this season and has seen his confidence knocked massively. An effect of his teammates 'ignoring him' claims Welsh manager Chris Coleman.
Unsurprisingly Coleman has come to the defence of his star player and mirrored the claim from the player's agent that his teammates didn't pass the ball to him enough and were ignoring him on the pitch.
Coleman, in an interview with Sky Sports highlighted his discontent at the treatment of Bale, who he hopes can carry his International side to the Euros next summer.
"My assistant Osian (Roberts) called me up and I told him 'I know what you are going to say, they are not giving him the ball'."
Bale enjoyed a fantastic first season at Real Madrid, managing 21 goals and 16 assists including vital goals in the Copa Del Rey against Barcelona and of course that header in the Champions League final to secure the win against fierce rivals Atletico Madrid.
Cristiano Ronaldo overshadowing Bale, according to the press, left Bale frustrated. Exuberating his dominance Ronaldo had apparently felt threatened by his younger teammate. Coleman disputed this, claiming it was more than just the big Portuguese that intimidated Bale.
"I am not saying it was just Ronaldo, but offensively I look at Madrid and wonder why he is not getting the ball."
The fans had their own opinion though, as earlier in the season Bale was subject to the boos and jeers that are so common at the Bernabeu. Bale had refused to square a pass to Ronaldo you may remember and the Ballon D'or winner reacted furiously, thus condemning Bale to the wrath of the Los Blanco's fans.
This toxic attitude has spilled onto the pitch claims Coleman and the feelings towards the world's most expensive footballer have gone sour.
"It wasn't Carlo Ancelotti's fault, it is down to the players on the pitch and it looked to me like he was being overlooked.
Coleman's words reiterate the theory that British players struggle in Europe as many before Bale have felt the cultural tenacity and passion of European fans can be overwhelming for players. Some blame the press for the downfall of Gareth Bale, declaring things aren't as bad as they seem. Others point to those before him including Ronaldo, suffering the same harsh treatment and the player should take it with a pinch of salt.
However, like Coleman, most feel the player is becoming a scapegoat for the shortcomings of Real Madrid this season, as the player is hitting just as many targets as he was in his debut campaign he just isn't getting the same love.
The feeling is that Bale will move on this summer as a move back to England suits homegrown players, however unclear it is where he ends up, the press, the fans and indeed the teammates will surely be more forgiving than those at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Has Bale been harshly treated? Tell us what you think!
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