It’s very easy to be classy when you’re winning – and it’s even easier to be classy when you’ve just won.
That’s what Real Madrid fans have proved this week. Their disgust at Gareth Bale has been pretty consistent for more than a year now, but when the Welshman’s name was called by the announcers at the celebrations at Cibeles after the Champions League win, it was met by cheers and not jeers.
You’d have to be amazingly petty to boo a player as you celebrate a European Cup win – but there’s nobody who does amazingly petty better than football fans – especially Real Madrid fans.
Bale is straight off on Wales duty now, with fans who wouldn’t boo him under any circumstances we care to imagine, and his manager there Rob Page has praised Madrid fans for their behaviour:
“I thought they showed class and rightly so for what he’s achieved for that football club, You look back to what he’s done, scoring winners in Champions League finals and in the manner in which he’s done it. What an achievement for him personally to be a part of that group of people, that team that’s achieved that, is phenomenal,” the coach said in quotes picked up by Sky Sports.
Bale’s contract expires this summer, and his time in Madrid has ended on a high (which one might have expected) and on good terms (which one wouldn’t have expected).