After nine years, Gareth Bale has left Real Madrid and he seems to be enjoying life, even if it’s not quite fair to say he is out of the spotlight in Los Angeles.
The five-time Champions League winner joined Los Angeles FC earlier this summer after his contract at Real Madrid. Despite having contributed more than enough to become a club hero, things ended badly, with Bale missing some of the celebrations after Real Madrid won the double.
In no small part was the breakdown in relations with the fans due to a consistent press campaign that deprecated Bale for his lack of language skills and his lack of integration. Perhaps more pertinently, his not being willing to play ball with the press in Madrid too.
Speaking to Diario AS, his new teammate Ilie Sanchez has contradicted many of the narratives that were persistent during Bale’s time in Madrid.
“He’s been an injection of confidence. For a footballer of his incredible level to decide to come and add value to our project – I admit, when you see he is your colleague, that makes us push a little more to compete and to try to win. And everything we have seen and felt with him has been pure commitment. He wants to help us to win titles.”
In particular, Bale’s supposed lack of Castellano skills were a constant source of fun for the media. Yet Sanchez says that isn’t the case.
“Gareth speaks to me in Spanish. I am the only Spanish one, but there are many South Americans and Central Americans in the squad. And he only wants to speak Spanish with us. In fact, sometimes we speak to him in English and he responds to us in Spanish!”
“He is committed. The other day he was part of the initiation, whipping up the fans with a megaphone in the stadium. Chiellini also did that. He looks happy.”
Given Bale’s decision to keep a lower profile in terms of media appearances, the public don’t really have his side of the story on his final seasons in Madrid. Yet it does appear as if certain matters were as they were presented.