Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane on Monday called out to the LaLiga club’s fans to not boo Wales striker Gareth Bale after his recent flag controversy in the Euro 2020 Qualifiers. Fans were left furious when Gareth Bale displayed a Welsh flag in celebration of their qualification for Europe's main international football event next year. The flag’s content had created controversy as it had the words “‘WALES. GOLF. MADRID. IN THAT ORDER’ printed clearly on it.
This development invited criticism from Real Madrid fans, with some even demanding Gareth Bale’s departure from the club. He was jeered by the Bernabeu crowd, when he was subbed on in the match against Leganes at the 67th minute. This was Bale’s first appearance for the Los Blancos since his injury in October 2019.
Zinedine Zidane stated to the media that he hoped that the boos do not carry on for the rest of the season. He asked the fans to support the team like they always do but not to be harsh on individual players always, even as they have their right to an opinion. Zidane confirmed that Bale is keen on being at Real Madrid and give it his level best during his time at the club, which is why this issue must not be snowballed according to him. Zidane also stated that Bale is integrated into the group and he wants to play well, just like everyone else.
In response to Gareth Bale’s flag celebration, Real Madrid fans waved their own banner which read “Rodrygo. Vini. Lucas. Bale. In that order”. Zidane’s team take on Paris Saint Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday night. The manager further added that he had not spoken to Bale about the jeers, but he had only congratulated him on his performance, as he did to all of the players.
When asked if the jeers were fair, Zidane tried to deflect the question. He went on to say that Real Madrid supporters have booed all of the very best players and Bale put in a good display when he came on. Zidane concluded that Bale just needs to focus on working hard on the pitch.