Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale has admitted the hostile environment towards him from the club’s fans have led to him losing confidence on the pitch.
The Welsh forward has been the subject of intense scrutiny from Los Blancos fans throughout his seven-year stay in the Spanish capital and has often been whistled by the club’s supporters during home matches at the Santiago Bernabeu.
“The whistles make you feel worse, you lose your confidence. When you miss a goal opportunity and they whistle at you, the goal becomes smaller,” Bale told Erik Anders Lang’s golf podcast, as cited by Marca.
“I have had 80,000 people whistling at me at the Bernabéu and you ask yourself, ‘why’? It is not a good thing. The first time I asked myself: What is this?
“Why does it happen? That is the big question. I should try to do better so they are happy, but it’s the opposite. They whistle and you feel worse, you lose your confidence and you play worse, and then the fans get even angrier.
“If when you get home you see people talking about football, it causes mental problems so you try to disconnect.
“In football you can play incredible but not score in five games, and people say that you are on a horrible streak. If you know you have played well, but people say no, your opinion is the most important thing. What they say does not matter to me.”
Bale remained at Madrid beyond the January transfer window despite reports linking him with a return to Tottenham, while a transfer to China collapsed last summer but he has once again fallen from prominence.
The forward has only scored two goals in La Liga this season and none since the 2-2 draw at Villarreal in early September while Newcastle United are said to be keen on a move should their Saudi-backed takeover be processed this summer.
Madrid are so keen to move Bale on due to his lack of game-time and significant wage packet at the club, hindering them from making further additions to their first-team squad.
“He’s got childlike innocence but he’s very cruel with it.” – Find out who which cricketer said this right here.