Gareth Bale wants to leave Real Madrid next summer
Not being included in the Champions League squad for the Club Brugge game was the final straw for the Welsh player.
Gareth Bale has had enough of his situation at Real Madrid. Just as the Welsh player was starting to play well, aware that more playing time would see him improve and sharpen...suddenly he found himself condemned to the stand for the Champions League tie against Club Brugge last week. No-one knows the motivation for Zidane's decision with the player not suffering from injury, not needing rest or suffering from tiredness. With no reason forthcoming, Bale was back in Zidane's starting XI for the league game against Granada. One would feel that this is not the best way to motivate a player who needs to feel important and integral to the squad but this is precisely the way the Welsh player feels about his situation at the club.
Barnett goes to work
Bale's agent Jonathan Barnett took it upon himself to look for a club for his client despite Bale's desire to remain in Madrid with the Welshman still puzzled as to why the club would open the door for his exit only to later put their foot down. Madrid agreed to waive the transfer fee with CSL side Jiangsu Suning but made a sudden u-turn when they realised that another Chinese top flight outfit were prepared to offer a substantial fee for James Rodriguez (a rumour which later turned out to be false) and this was one of the keys to the move ultimately breaking down.
Unlike times in the past, Bale doesn't feel he can count on the support of the club either. In recent years, Madrid have openly lent their support to other big name players with Cristiano Ronaldo the obvious example with the Bernabéu outfit even publishing a communique of support when the Portuguese player was embroiled in his dispute with the Spanish tax authorities (the outcome of which saw the striker being heavily fined). In Bale's case, Madrid have failed to offer a level of protection or at least this is how the player views the situation.
Gareth Bale has delivered solid performances in the past few weeks and much of this has to do with the anger the player feels and is his way of replying to the distance and coldness being shown to him by the French coach, his own way of rebelling at his situation. People say that Bale prefers golf to football and it may be true to say that the Cardiff born striker fails to show the same intensity as other players on the pitch, but this is his manner both on and off the field. Bale does understand though that he offers solid performances and does not deserve the treatment that he's being handed out, he simply wants playing time and to be able to score goals for the team which he realises is an area of improvement. His omission from the squad for the first Champions League game was the final straw and for the first time since his arrival in the Spanish capital in the summer of 2013, the Welsh striker now wants to leave Real Madrid.
Bale feels that the way he's being treated is unjust, that's the only way he can describe his situation. So the reader can appreciate what's unfolding, imagine for a moment that we're analysing another player who had won four Champions League winners' medals, had bagged three goals in two major European finals (one of those, potentially the finest goal to ever grace a Champions League final) scored his penalty in a shoot-out to lead to another UCL win, a player who netted the winner in the 2014 Copa del Rey final, helped secure a LaLiga title, three times winner of the FIFA Club World Cup along with winning three UEFA Super Cups. We're genuinely reflecting on a club legend despite the indifference displayed towards him at times from the Bernabéu faithful. A quick look back at that list of accolades and one could think that we're talking about the likes of Kroos, Modric or Carvajal, players who are treasured by supporters and who maintain a good relationship with the media. If they had been treated that way, maybe we'd be reading and hearing different things.
Bale lives in his own world, away from the media glare and is unknown by many. This makes him an easy target as he's both foreign and appears distant. It's also true that, on occasion, Jonathan Barnett's defence of his player has failed to help the situation with his constant talk of being "the best in the world" or "having the potential to be the best". At the same time, no objective analysis of the situation can ignore the fact that Bale has been dedicated in body and mind and has been a highly key player in Real Madrid's recent history. Can a level of quality not be included in this Madrid team which suffers from erratic performances? Why is there a level of interest in belittling Bale's importance and presence and why not take full advantage of what the player can offer?