It was a jubilant Saturday afternoon for Real Madrid fans, who basked in the glory of Los Blancos capturing their 35th league title in history with a 4-0 thrashing of Espanyol at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The players gathered and celebrated the title triumph. Well, all the players except for Gareth Bale, who would explain his absence was due to missing the match with a “bad back spasm”.
As with anything involving Bale and Madrid, there were bound to be polarizing reactions. Disappointment, sadness, even frustration. Madridistas all recognize Bale’s quality and what he has done for the team, but recent seasons have caused some to be jaded and look at the Welshman’s impact differently.
If there is one thing you can count on from Madridistas, it is brutal honesty. And that can be seen in the reactions to Bale not celebrating with the rest of his teammates in what will be his final season at the Bernabeu with his contract expiring this summer.
Real Madrid fans feel hurt by how Gareth Bale’s chapter is ending
The frustration from many Madridistas is clear. They want to root for Bale and want to see him succeed, but many feel as though Bale is not giving himself and the fans a chance for reconciliation.
That’s a sentiment echoed by the majority of fans. Love for Bale, a wistfulness that he were there to celebrate. It’s just that many people have different ways of expressing this.
Yet there is also the valid anger with the way Bale does things his own way and does not seem to be a part of the Madrid collective.
At the end of the day, though, there can be no doubt that Gareth Bale helped take Real Madrid to another level. From his goal against Marc Bartra and Barcelona to win the Copa del Rey to his incredible Champions League Final bicycle kick and everything in between, Bale is a four-time Champions League winner who was the missing piece to turning Los Blancos in to Europe’s most dominant force.
My favorite people are the people on Twitter who are just there for the good times and the jokes. It really is the most Gareth Bale thing for him to not be at the title celebration due to a back injury. Sums up his career as a title-winning, injury-prone lone wolf. Some of us embrace him for it, but some of us feel alienated.
A sad way to go out, indeed.
We have seen so many great players at Real Madrid become managers or ambassadors for the club. Will Bale ever be associated with Madrid after he leaves this season? It might be up to him, but if he feels so distant from the club that he won’t celebrate a LaLiga title, I don’t have high hopes there.
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It depends on everyone’s definition of club legend, which is an oft-debated term. If your definition of a club legend focuses on football, Bale is absolutely one. If it goes beyond that into sentimental value and a certain connection with the club, Bale, over the past couple of years, has lost that. And so under that lens, you can see why some fans do not see him as a legend, even as many Madridistas, for whom success in football is No. 1, do.