Spanish media evaluated Gareth Bale’s El Clásico performance with a cool and critical eye

“It’s just one game in a long season.” “Bale and Ronaldo have done so much for Real, we should support and encourage them through their fallow periods.”

Two of the sentences you probably won’t be reading in the Spanish press in the wake of Barcelona’s 2-1 victory over Real Madrid on Sunday. Because it was ALL GARETH BALE’S FAULT. GO HOME SILLY WELSH MAN. MAYBE THINK ABOUT RETIRING, YOU ARE SO CRAP.

Turns out, one-and-a-half seasons of excellence, vital goals in the Champions League and Copa del Rey finals and a match-winning double last week doesn’t count for a lot these days in Spain.

When evaluating Bale’s performance in El Clásico, Marca gave him 4.5 out of ten, with only the referee getting a lower rating. AS didn’t even give him a mark at all, just a slash where the score should have been, as if he hadn’t handed in his homework.

This month, Marca’s even picking a fight with the august British Broadcasting Corporation, accusing it of starting a smear campaign against Marca with inaccurate claims the paper is running a smear campaign against Bale. Apparently, in one web story, the BBC “twisted things out of context”… says an article which makes reference to the BBC’s alleged extensive cover-up of a decades-old sexual abuse scandal involving one of its former presenters.

MORE: Why you shouldn’t trust everything you read about El Clásico

Marca was clearly offended by the suggestion that their criticism of Bale is exaggerated and motivated by a spat between them and club president Florentino Perez, the man who made him the world’s most expensive player.

Marca today: “It’s obvious Perez has paid 100m euros for someone worth 20m.”

True, Bale wasn’t good in the second half. But when the media stokes a febrile atmosphere that singles out individuals for excessive blame, bad stuff can happen. Like, say, fans attacking Bale’s poor, innocent car.

Seriously, fans, show some respect. That car’s probably worth $300,000, so don’t dent it or scratch the paintwork. Bale’s had to work for a whole week to be able to afford it.