REUTERS – Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale’s latest injury has led to heated criticism in the Spanish media that he is putting Wales ahead of his club side.
Bale has suffered a succession of injuries since joining Real in 2013 and the calf strain that saw him go off at half time in the weekend La Liga win over Levante was the fifth time he has had a problem in the same area.
The fact that his latest injury is directly related to the calf problem he had before the international break when he played two full games for Wales, has not gone down well among many in the Spanish capital.
He was being used sparingly, playing as a substitute against Atletico Madrid before joining up for Wales where he gave his all, including in the second match against Andorra when they were already qualified for Euro 2016.
“It is irritating for any Real Madrid supporter,” said As journalist Tomas Roncero.
“It’s one thing to be unfortunate and we all back you then but you (Bale) made a joke of Real Madrid, I’ll say it clearly.
“You have prioritised your country over the club that pays you. We are all patriotic but you were classified and still go to the party, and on top of that play 90 minutes.
“You can not do that it is unacceptable. You cost 100 million euros, the club can not just sit back and let this happen.”
The newspaper refers to Cristiano Ronaldo who was in a similar situation with Portugal and chose not to play against Serbia but instead return to train with Real.
Bale misses a crunch Champions League clash away to Paris St Germain on Wednesday with both teams tied on six points from two games.
This latest incident follows controversy over comments by Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett that suggested the Welshman and Ronaldo had a poor relationship, which were later denied by coach Rafa Benitez.
(Reporting by Tim Hanlon in Barcelona, editing by Martyn Herman)