by Jamil Salih
GARETH Bale’s treatment at the hands of Real Madrid fans is “nonsensical”, according to ex-Wales striker Dean Saunders.
Saunders’ comments come after Bale’s agent, Jonathan Barnett, defended him in response to the Madridistas jeering him as he was substituted in last weekend’s defeat to fierce rivals Barcelona.
Barnett believes that the Madrid fans “should be ashamed of themselves” for the ill-tempered treatment that the four-time Champions League winner has had to endure during his time at the Bernabeu.
Dean Saunders, speaking on talkSPORT’s Breakfast Show, branded Jonathan Barnett’s comments as “true” as he came to the defence of the former Tottenham man.
“Were they not at the Champions League final, when he came off the bench and scored one of the greatest goals I’ve ever seen?
“What about the Copa del Rey, when he runs off the pitch and wins them that game on his own?”
Bale’s time in the Spanish capital has been a somewhat turbulent one. The Welshman reportedly does not speak much Spanish and also chooses to live a low-key life rather than attending social events and the like with his teammates.
But Saunders is in awe of Bale. He described the privilege he felt to have simply stood on the training ground and watch Bale train first-hand.
“When you watch him in training, you realise just how much better he is than everybody else,” he added.
“He looks twice as big as everybody else and he looks twice as quick as everybody else.”
Despite the tensions that undoubtedly exist between Bale and the Madridistas, Saunders went on to question whether it will ultimately lead to the Welshman’s departure anytime soon.
“It might become impossible for him [to stay at Real Madrid], at some point, but the other thing is, he is on over £350,000 a week, who can afford him?”
“He likes it in Spain, so I’m not sure whether he wants to come back to the English game.”
Saunders is also no stranger to playing for huge football clubs with a fanatical supporter base. He commanded an English record transfer fee when he was snapped up by Liverpool for £2.9 million in 1991.
Similarly to Bale, Swansea-born Saunders also spent a period of his career playing abroad, for Galatasaray and Benfica respectively.
Bale signed a contract extension just over two years ago which saw him commit his future to the Madrid giants until 2022.
However, with the continuing unrest surrounding the Wales star’s future, a move away from Spain may not be beyond the realms of possibility.
(Featured image: Rubén Ortega; CC-BY-SA)