Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale has expressed his ‘shock’ at the boos and whistling directed at him recently by the club’s fans.
The forward celebrated qualifying for the European Championships next summer with a flag stating “Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order”
Former Real Madrid forward Predrag Mijatovic – who hit the winning the goal in the 1998 Champions League final – recently claimed those were the priorities of the 30-year-old.
Fans of the international team then used those three words as lyrics to replace their usual ‘Viva Gareth Bale’ chant during the recent victory over Azerbaijan and Hungary.
Madrid fans vociferously booed and jeered the forward upon his return to club football – in the recent win over Real Sociedad, although subsequent reactions have been more subdued.
“I think the first time it happened, it was a bit of a shock,” Bale told BT Sport, as cited by ESPN.
“I didn't really know how to deal with it. But as I've got older, it's happened one or two times and you understand how to deal with it. Now I just shrug it off.
“Obviously I have to just keep working hard and keep proving to the fans what I can do. Eventually the whistles do stop and you get on with your career like normal.”
The Welshman has been widely criticised in parts of Spanish media for his golfing habit – and the player himself has admitted the sport is his one true habit.
Indeed, such is Bale’s links to the sport that he has been nicknamed ‘The Golfer’ by his Madrid teammates – another stick the Spanish media has used to him.