Playing in front of 80,000 people for the legendary club that made you the world’s most expensive soccer player and is paying you $450,000 a week is great, and all, but country comes first. Even if that country is Wales, which last qualified for the World Cup in 1958; European Championships in 1976.
Because he wants to make family, friends, Anthony Hopkins and the ghost of Dylan Thomas proud and get invited to parties in Las Vegas with Tom Jones, Gareth Bale cares more about Wales than Real Madrid, and this explains his recent indifferent form.
Not my words. Not Bale’s words either, if we’re being honest. But the words of Israel coach Eli Guttman, more or less, who said the forward tries harder for Wales than for Real.
“I feel that Bale is saving himself for the national team,” Guttman told sports.walla.co.il. “The level of the miles he does and the level of his commitment to the national team is nothing like how he plays for Real Madrid.”
Evidence, Eli? ”When they had a player injured [George Williams] Bale was the first to ‘get well soon’.”
Well, that’s pretty conclusive. The guy tweeted, after all.
In fact, it’s clear that Bale has stank like a skunk in a French supermarket’s cheese aisle since January because he’s so focused on the big Wales versus Israel Euro 2016 qualifier clash on March 28, and he’s saving his energy. That’s how these things work.
Just like in 2012-13, when Bale was so focused on trying to get Wales into the 2014 World Cup finals that he really tanked it with Tottenham, scoring only 21 EPL goals and becoming a global star.