‘I definitely have more excitement playing for Wales’: Gareth Bale risks Real Madrid fury as he ADMITS he prefers playing for his national team after club rows
- Gareth Bale admitted is far more excited to play for Wales than Real Madrid
- The forward has not played since playing for Wales against Croatia on October 5
- Bale has been criticised by Spanish media for not being as committed to Real
- Bale hopes to be fit for Wales’ qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Hungary
Gareth Bale admits he gets more of a thrill when pulling on the red shirt of Wales than at any other time in football.
Bale has not been deemed fit to play for Madrid since picking up a calf injury during Wales’ 1-1 draw with Croatia on October 13, but he is confident he will be ready to play a significant part both here in Baku on Saturday and against Hungary on Tuesday, with Wales needing two wins to have a chance of automatic qualification for Euro 2020.
Gareth Bale has admitted he is far more excited to play for Wales compared to Real Madrid
Bale’s last appearance for club or country came for Wales against Croatia on October 5
Asked if playing for Wales allowed him to rediscover the joy of football, Bale said: ‘To an extent. I’ve been with most of the older players since we were in Under-17s.
‘It’s like playing with your mates down the park on a Sunday. It’s normal. With Wales, I’m speaking my own language and feel more comfortable.
‘I definitely have more excitement playing for with Wales. But it doesn’t change what I do on the pitch. I always give 100 per cent on the pitch wherever I am, that’s what I always strive to do.’
Bale shares a joke with Ben Davies ahead of Wales’ qualifiers against Azebaijan and Hungary
Bale, 30, has had a highly successful time in Spain yet his relationship with boss Zinedine Zidane remains extremely strained. He almost left the club to join Jiangsu Suning on a deal worth about £1m per week last summer, only for it to collapse in the final stages.
He enjoys the Spanish lifestyle but supporters and pundits have become irritated by his frequent absences through injury, and his love of golf.
Predrag Mijatovic, a former Real player who also worked as the club’s director of football, said last month of Bale: ‘The first thing he thinks about is Wales, then golf and after that, Real Madrid.’
The observation has been adopted as a badge of honour by some Wales fans, with a flag bearing the slogan ‘Wales, golf, Madrid – in that order!’ expected to appear at the Hungary game on Tuesday.
Bale has been hugely successful in Spain but his relationship wit Zinedine Zidane is fractured
Team mates and the Spanish press criticised Bale for going on international duty with Wales
When Bale was chosen by Wales earlier this month despite not having played for Real since October 5, Spanish newspaper AS ran a front-page picture of the former Tottenham star on the golf course, alongside the headline ‘Triple Bogey’.
Bale hit back: ‘I’ve never had a triple bogey! At least give me an albatross or something. It’s funny. The things I have seen people really don’t understand football, they don’t know what they’re on about.
‘I’ve tried to get back as quick as I can, if there had been a Real Madrid game this week I would have been fit and training to play. Maybe to them it doesn’t look great but it’s coincidence that the national team has come around this week and I’ve kind of returned to full training.
‘It’s something that happen in football. If I’m fit, no matter where I am, I’m going to try to play, whether it be Wales or Madrid. For me, it’s a no-brainer: if I’m fit to play, I’ll give everything to play.’
Bale trained with his Wales teamates despite missing Real Madrid’s last six games with injury