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Berbatov: “Bale was silly to celebrate with that flag"

The ex-Tottenham striker has joined the chorus of criticism of Gareth Bale over the Real Madrid striker's decision to pose with the now-notorious "Wales. Golf. Madrid." flag.

Former Tottenham and Manchester United legend, Dimitar Berbatov, has criticized Gareth Bale for posing with a flag that read “Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that Order” following Wales’ win against Hungary on Saturday.

The Real Madrid winger has drawn ire in Spain for posing with the flag, which was created by Welsh fans as a joke and made reference to comments made by former Blancos legend Pedja Mijatovic regarding the Welshman’s priorities.

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“The first thing he thinks about is Wales, then golf and after that, Real Madrid,” Mijatovic said in an interview on Spanish radio last month.

Bale had also entered the firing line with the Spanish press some days before the Hungary game for saying that he gets more excited playing for Wales than Real Madrid.

Obvious tensions between Bale and Real Madrid - Berbatov

Dimitar Berbatov

And while Berbatov acknowledged Bale’s right to feel that his country comes first and his perceived unfair treatment in Spain, the former Bulgaria striker said the Cardiff-born player’s decision to pose with the flag was in poor judgement.

“Bale was silly to celebrate with that flag,” said Berbatov in his capacity as Betfair ambassador.

“There is obviously some tension between Gareth Bale and Madrid. Of course, he is Welsh and he is going to put his country first but I don't know why he needed to celebrate with that flag, I know it is a bit of banter but it springs unwanted attention.

“He didn't need that, it's his decision and maybe he felt he wanted to show something like that but for me it wasn't necessary. Maybe it was an emotional moment or maybe he didn't know what was on the flag, either way it doesn't look great and I think it was a bit silly.

“He's a quality player and it's true, he isn't treated the right way in Spain, but if you have to ask if you aren't treated the right way why are you still there? If you are good enough, every team will want you and you will play football again.”

Bale must now return to the Spanish capital to face the music at Real Madrid, where the club has reportedly not found the funny side of the joke regarding the now notorious flag.