Real Madrid said goodbye to the Champions League in Manchester while Gareth Bale was supposed to watch the game on TV. Not because he was injured, just because he didn’t want to play. That’s it. An unimaginable decision in any other area of life.
It is true that Bale has given a lot to Real Madrid. He has more than paid off his fee. It cannot be hidden. Four Champions League trophies, with decisive goals in two of them, are part of his Los Blancos spell. But nothing hides the disaster of the current situation. A failure from everybody.
First and foremost, from him. Bale is one of the highest paid players in the world, but for three years, if not longer, his performances have been obscene. More than 600 players have scored more goals than him (three) across the top European leagues this year. He has not justified a single euro of the millions that he is earning. His conformity is embarrassing. He has made it clear that it is better for him to get up in the morning, open the window and see the Madrid sun than to feel like the great footballer that he is, even if it is a place where after training he cannot play and subsequently score goals. And no, the problem is not golf. It is that football has long seemed an alien element in his life. That he doesn’t mind spending another year living well without making any great effort.
It is also Zinedine Zidane‘s failure. He didn’t want Bale in the team and he didn’t hide it. He swallowed it, aware that there was nothing to do, that he was a finished at Real Madrid. Still, he played him, who knows if he did it to expose a footballer who does not want to be one. He did not have the strength to force his exit, not even some arguments that the Welshman can be important. Two will not argue if one does not want to. In this case, it is the two of them who have no desire to fix the issue.
And it is a failure of the club. It is intolerable for a footballer to refuse to fulfil his obligation, which is to play when the coach deems it appropriate. Even more, when he is the one who enters the dressing room and everyone knows that he is the highest earner. Every day that has passed for a year now, the situation has become more difficult. Bale doesn’t want to go. He doesn’t want to give up his money. It is your right to not give grounds for a full-fledged dismissal in any other profession. Real Madrid cannot afford to continue like this. The player is devalued on all sides. If any club want him, something that is already doubtful, he knows what it is, and he also knows that Real Madrid do not hold a position of strength.
It will take the best team of soldiers to escape from a demonic trench in which all parties have helped plug the exits.