Bale hits out at Spanish media and warns athletes could be sent “over the edge”

The winger is currently the toast of Wales after his heroics against Austria put them one step closer to World Cup qualification but it is a different story back in Madrid

Gareth Bale has slammed the Spanish press

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Gareth Bale has furiously hit back at his Spanish critics after he was branded “a Welsh parasite”.

Wales captain Bale is seeing out the final few months of his £600,000-a-week contract at Real, where he has played just five times this term. He missed their 4-0 defeat to arch-rivals Barcelona last weekend with a back injury but was fit to inspire Wales to victory over Austria.

After scoring both goals in Wales’ play-off semi-final, including a stunning free-kick, Bale branded Spanish outlet Marca “disgusting” for comparing him to a parasite over claims he is sucking money out of Real. The star continued his fightback last night with a post on social media after considering legal action. Bale, 32, said: “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. 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.

“We all know who the real parasite is!”

Bale, who was loaned back to Spurs last term, is set to leave Real this summer when his contract expires. He could even retire from football altogether if Wales fail to reach the winter World Cup in Qatar. Wales are waiting to play the winner of the other delayed semi-final play-off in June between Scotland and Ukraine.

His agent Jonathan Barnett said: “Gareth doesn’t know what will happen in the summer, and everything depends on Wales. “We haven’t spoken to anybody and it will be a decision he makes at sometime in June. It’s unbelievable they ( Real Madrid ) haven’t played him because he can still do things as everybody saw on Thursday night.

Gareth Bale was the hero for Wales once again against Austria on Thursday night


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“If they got him into that team and involved, they would have a great player but we’ll live with it and get on with it. He’s the greatest player that has ever played for Wales and one of the greatest Britain has ever produced.”

Wales boss Rob Page was asked about comparing Bale to Pele, Diego Maradona and Johan Cruyff after the match. “Yes, absolutely,” he said. “You have just named some world-class players that you associate with their countries.

“When you think of Wales at international level from a footballing point of view you have Aaron Ramsey, Joe Allen and some great senior players who have had success in the finals at Euro 2016. “But Gareth Bale is probably one of the biggest players in world football that everybody knows.

“The important goals he’s scored, the goals in Champions League finals, what he’s done for the clubs he’s played at, what he’s done for Wales – his country. He should be spoken about in as high regard.”

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