After nine years at Real Madrid, Gareth Bale finally departed the Spanish capital for good this summer. Despite being instrumental in four Champions League victories, the relationship between Bale and much of the press in Madrid had soured to an irreparable extent.
Marca made the headlines themselves after publishing an editorial on the Welshmen in March which described Bale as a parasite, provoking significant backlash against the paper outside of Madrid.
A large part of the reason for that poor relationship was the image that he didn’t care too much for Real Madrid, which stemmed from his failure to integrate fully into the Spanish lifestyle. In particular, his inability or lack of desire to speak Spanish was levelled as criticism.
However Bale seems to be feeling the warmth from his new club Los Angeles FC. Ahead of the Los Angeles derby, against LA Galaxy, Bale issued a rallying cry to the LAFC fans – in Spanish.
— LÁFC (@SomosLAFC) July 8, 2022
“Hello LA, 32:52. I am here and we will see each other at the game tonight,” Bale told the LAFC media in Castilian.
It certainly shows a sharp wit from both the community manager at LAFC and Bale. Later on that night he was handed the microphone to lead the celebrations of LAFC’s 3-2 victory.
— LAFC (@LAFC) July 9, 2022
While fortunately the warring of the Madrid press against Bale is over, his spell will serve as a fable for future players on the power of the press. While Bale also had a part to play in his poor relationship with them, it’s hard to argue they didn’t have some influence on his final years in Madrid.