Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale has hit back at Marca after he was labelled a ‘parasite’ by the Spanish publication, insisting they ought to be ‘ashamed of themselves’.
Bale has had a strained relationship with the Spanish media for many years and Marca pulled no punches in their latest outburst against the four-time Champions League winner.
In an illustration published by the newspaper, the 32-year-old was harshly depicted as a mosquito sucking blood from the Real badge. Bale has been largely left on the bench by coach Carlo Ancelotti in recent weeks after recovering from earlier knee, calf and back injuries.
The player was, however, called up by Wales for his country’s vital World Cup qualifiers this month and Marca appeared to take exception. Their report unfairly claimed that Bale ‘sucks blood without giving anything in return’, adding that he shows ‘contempt’ for his club.
Bale scored twice for Wales against Austria on Thursday night, meaning only one game stands between the country and a place at the World Cup for the first time in 64 years.
He said afterwards that he had nothing to prove but called out Marca’s ‘disgusting’ coverage.
“I don’t need to send a message, it’s a waste of my time, it’s disgusting they should be ashamed of themselves,” Bale said as he hit back.
“I can hit a free-kick if I am able to play. It was nice to see it go in. The early goal gave us that momentum and the second one was nice as well. I had some cramp at the end which I guess is normal but l will run into the ground for this country and we all did that.”
Bales and Wales will not find out their final play-off opponent until the summer as a result of the other semi-final in their bracket between Scotland and Ukraine being postponed.