The Real Madrid winger has come under fire from tabloids and pundits in Madrid where he has failed to get any meaningful opportunities to showcase his football in the past three seasons.
Injuries and Covid-19 have also contributed to Bale’s shaky form in the Spanish capital, but fans of Los Blancos as well as managers of the side have somehow failed to get the best out of the Welshman.
Yet, his performances every international break continue to prove that his talent is unquestionable, and he showed that again by scoring a brace to help Wales beat Austria and send them within a game of the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Before the match, Marca ran an article with a happy Bale in the Wales camp as the header image, calling him a parasite.
“He settled in Spain, in Real Madrid where, masked, he first showed diligence and love for his host, but then his nature led him to suck its blood without giving anything in return,” one line of the savage diatribe in the article read.
Bale, ecstatic to have helped his country progress to the next playoffs round, called all the critics from the past three years of hardship in Madrid ‘disgusting’ and boldly stated that they don’t matter.
“I don’t need to send a message, it’s a waste of my time,” Bale said after the game when asked about his enthusiastic celebrations in which he ran to the stadium cameras.
“It’s disgusting and they should all be ashamed of themselves.”
The former Tottenham Hotspur man also said that his side will be ready for either Scotland or Ukraine when the time comes.
“A game away from the World Cup? It’s fantastic, half the job done, I guess the good thing now is that we can enjoy tonight because the game will obviously be in June now… still another very tough game against Scotland or Ukraine and we’ll be ready for that when it comes.”
Aaron Ramsey, who has also had a turbulent past three seasons at Juventus, but has been stepping up when Wales needed him in that frame, could relate to what Bale felt.
He also stepped up in this match with a commanding performance in the middle of the park and empathised with his national team captain after the game.
“It’s not been easy for him, but playing for his country means everything to him and you can see that the way he plays, he enjoys himself,” Ramsey said after the match.
“We are a great group here, we get on very well – we want to play and work hard for each other and he’s no different. He can produce moments of magic like that in the game.”
Wales have not been to the World Cup in more than five decades, and this result means that the two veterans could be playing their first ever World Cup.
Ramsey said of the possibility: “It means everything. Playing in front of these fans, what more could you want? We are one game away from the World Cup which is everything for myself, Bale, for the nation and for the group of lads.
“This is what we want. We’ve come a very long way since the early days and this would just be the icing on the cake now for us to qualify for the World Cup. Still a bit of work to be done, but we will enjoy tonight.”