Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has expressed his sympathy towards Gareth Bale for the way he has been treated by Real Madrid.
Bale made the move to the Bernabeu in 2013 and was a crucial part of the team initially, scoring in two Champions League finals and helping his side win a number of trophies.
Over time he gradually became vilified by the Spanish press, however, and was mocked for the amount of time he spent on the golf course.
He was frozen out of the team by manager Zinedine Zidane and eventually sent on a season-long loan to Tottenham.
And speaking in an interview with YouTuber Ibai Llanos, Pique admitted he felt sorry for his former El Clasico rival.
“Gareth was mistreated a bit,” he said. “He scored goals for Madrid in the Champions League finals, and has been very important and vital part in many Real Madrid titles.
“You can be passionate about golf, you don’t have to [spend your] 24 hours on football. In the end each of us has our history and we try to manage it as we may.”
Meanwhile Bale has continued to struggle at Spurs, and was once again left on the bench by Jose Mourinho during his side’s 1-0 defeat to Chelsea on Thursday.
Speaking about the player after the game, Mourinho simply said: “I’m doing my best. He’s doing his best. Everybody is doing their best.”
It currently appears unlikely he will be offered a permanent deal, and he may be forced to return to Madrid, where he has one year left on his contract.
It remains to be seen if he returns to the starting line-up for Spurs’ game against West Brom this weekend, with the pressure beginning to mount on Mourinho after three league defeats in a row.