Gareth Bale’s Real Madrid career has been petering out for some time now.
Despite the stage seemingly being set for him to succeed Cristiano Ronaldo as Los Blancos’ star man on the back of scoring twice in the 2018 Champions League final, Bale’s time in Spain has instead gone out on a whimper.
The Welshman was used minimally during Zinedine Zidane’s second spell in charge, culminating in a loan return to Tottenham Hotspur, before the possibility of redemption under Carlo Ancelotti presented itself this season.
Ups and downs of Bale’s Real career
However, things simply haven’t worked out that way with a combination of injuries and generally being out of favour at the Bernabeu leaving Bale marooned on just five games and one goal in 2021/22.
As such, it seems inevitable now that the four-time Champions League winner will look for pastures new when his contract in the Spanish capital runs out this summer.
And frankly, regardless of what may or may not have sparked his decline at the club, you could hardly blame Bale for waving goodbye to Real when you consider the way the Spanish press has treated him at times.
Even during his early days in the Iberian nation, some of the criticism fired in his direction was problematic and confronting to the extent that Ronaldo came out and defended him in public.
Erik ten Hag to Man Utd is close (Football Terrace)
Bale subject of savage newspaper rant
However, there’s good reason to think that Bale has never faced an onslaught from the media worse than what Spanish newspaper Marca have published about him this week.
According to the Daily Mail, journalist Manuel Julia Dorado wrote an astonishing column in which he compared the 32-year-old to a parasite and lamented that his Real transfer was a ‘misfortune’.
Per the Mail’s translation, the shocking rant – accompanied with a mock-up of Bale as a mosquito – read as follows: “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.
Spanish paper Marca launch attack on 'parasite' Gareth Bale and accuse him of 'sucking Real Madrid's euros' https://t.co/CLUTGCUvhr— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) March 24, 2022
“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.”
A brutal criticism
No matter what has been going on at the Bernabeu that has led to the Bale situation becoming so dire, you’d be hard-pressed to say that such an eye-watering rant was justified.
Bale hasn’t covered himself in glory at times, but coming out swinging for a footballer who is a human being as much as the rest of us by comparing him to a money-sucking bug doesn’t feel right at all.
And it all adds to a toxic situation where you can’t help concluding that Bale and Real divorcing in the summer is the best move for every party involved. What a shame that it’s ending this way…