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Nov 19, 2019 at 7.45pm UK
Wales
2-0
Hungary
Ramsey (15', 47')
FT(HT: 1-0)
/esi/1339/6_G_1_98857/index.html?art_id=380011&game_id=98857&sport_id=1&ESI

Gareth Bale causes a stir with 'Wales. Golf. Madrid' celebration

:Headline: Gareth Bale causes a stir with 'Wales. Golf. Madrid' celebration:
The forward has not played for his club since October 5.
PA | 3mo

Gareth Bale has risked the wrath of Real Madrid by celebrating Wales' Euro 2020 qualification success with a Welsh flag poking fun at his Spanish club.

Bale – who has played four times for Wales since his last appearance for Real on October 5 – has been criticised in Spain in recent months for putting country before club.

Former Real striker Predrag Mijatovic spoke out against keen golfer Bale in a newspaper article, saying: "The first thing he thinks about is Wales, then golf and after that, Real Madrid."

Wales fans have turned the mantra 'Wales. Golf. Madrid' into a chant, with Bale himself admitting he found the song amusing.

And Bale provided his critics with more ammunition after Wales' 2-0 home victory over Hungary on Tuesday secured their place at Euro 2020 next summer.

As Bale celebrated qualification with team-mates, he was directly behind a Welsh flag which said 'Wales. Golf. Madrid. In That Order'.

The Spanish media reacted angrily on Wednesday to the pictures of Bale posing with the flag.

Sports daily AS' headline read "Bale is 'mocking' Madrid with the 'Wales. Golf. Madrid' flag", while Sport.es queried whether Bale should be punished by his club.

"Bale had no qualms about being in the centre of the image, practically carrying the flag where you could read this message that clearly implies a contempt against the Madrid club," Sport.es said.

"Now we need to know if Real Madrid will take any action against its player, considering it as a clear contempt and attack on the club's image."

But the influential Madrid daily sport newspaper Marca said Real would not punish Bale, because the relationship between the player and manager Zinedine Zidane is "broken for good".

“Bale is 'mocking' Madrid with the 'Wales. Golf. Madrid' flag”
- The headline in the Spanish sports daily As

Bale has not played for Real since picking up a calf injury on international duty for Wales in October.

The 30-year-old, however, linked up for Wales' Euro 2020 qualifiers with Azerbaijan and Hungary, playing an hour in Baku last weekend and 88 minutes in Cardiff on Tuesday.

Bale prompted an angry response from Real fans before the Azerbaijan  game last week by saying he enjoyed playing more for his country than his club.

"I definitely have more excitement playing for Wales," Bale said.

Gareth Bale (left) celebrates after Aaron Ramsey opens the scoring in the Euro 2020 qualifier against Hungary (Nick Potts/PA)

"I've been with most of the older players since we were in the 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.

"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's future in Spain has been under constant scrutiny since Zidane returned as Real manager in March.

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane's relationship with Gareth Bale is said to be 'broken' (Nick Potts/PA)

The player's agent Jonathan Barnett called Zidane a "disgrace" in July after the Frenchman said the club was "working on his departure".

Bale's proposed move to Chinese club Jiangsu Suning, where he was reportedly to be paid £1million a week over three years, collapsed at the 11th hour.

The Welshman, who joined Real from Tottenham in 2013 for a then world-record fee of £85.3million, returned to the first-team fold and scored twice in six league games.

But Bale, who is contracted at Real until June 2022, could move on in January with China and the United States possible destinations.

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3Leicester CityLeicester27155754272750
4Chelsea2713594537844
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd27118841291241
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs2711794436840
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool27261064174779
2Manchester CityMan City27183668293957
3Leicester CityLeicester27155754272750
4Chelsea2713594537844
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd27118841291241
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs2711794436840
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd27101072925440
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2791263832639
9Arsenal2781363936337
10Burnley27114123339-637
11Everton27106113641-536
12Southampton27104133448-1434
13Crystal Palace2789102432-833
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2787122441-1731
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton27610113239-728
16Bournemouth2775152643-1726
17Aston Villa2774163452-1825
18West Ham UnitedWest Ham2766153248-1624
19Watford2759132443-1924
20Norwich CityNorwich2746172451-2718
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