Bale was always DOOMED at Real Madrid after breaking Cristiano Ronaldo transfer record, insists former club president.
Gareth Bale was ‘handicapped’ from the moment he arrived at the Bernabeu because he cost more than Cristiano Ronaldo, according to former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon.
The soap opera that is Bale’s career in Spain took its latest twist on Thursday as Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane astonishingly revealed the Welshman asked to be left out of the squad to face Manchester City in the Champions League.
Bale has not played a single minute of football since the restart, instead resigning himself to fooling around in the stands, and after years of friction between himself and the La Liga giants, it’s difficult to see him playing another match for the club.
It’s a sorry state of affairs for the man who usurped Ronaldo as the club’s most expensive player in 2013 when Tottenham were paid £85m for him.
And Calderon, the president responsible for signing Marcelo and Gonzalo Higuain, believes Bale was doomed from day one.
“He came here with a handicap: we paid more for him than Cristiano Ronaldo,” Calderon told talkSPORT.
“People always compare. They thought Bale should be better than Ronaldo and score more goals.
“Plus, he wasn’t really interested in learning our language. That was a problem because he couldn’t get in touch with the fans through the media.
“Little by little, he was introverted with his behaviour in Spain.”
Zidane has made it abundantly clear, for years, that Bale is not part of his plans moving forward, but Madrid cannot simply shift their highest-paid player.
Bale, who earns about £600,000-a-week, would sooner see out the remaining two years of his contract on the golf course before taking a pay cut elsewhere.
The 31-year-old nearly joined Chinese club Jiangsu Suning last summer, who were willing to offer him £1m-a-week, before Real Madrid asked for a fee at the last minute.
And Calderon, who has experience of these things, suggests the only solution could be a loan or a free transfer.
“His salary is very high and his situation is difficult to accept for any other team,” Calderon added.
“Maybe the solution is a loan, with Madrid paying part of the salary. Or a transfer without any fee involved.
“He was about to do that with China last year, but suddenly Real Madrid wanted a fee.
“But I don’t want him to go to China, he has a place at any top club in Europe.”
Above all, Calderon reflects on a desperately sad situation which sees one of Europe’s most talented players wasting his prime years.
The former president believes Bale asked to be left out of the Champions League clash at the Etihad to avoid the embarrassment of sitting in the stands.
“I think it’s very sad. For the sake of both parties, they have to end this situation, this agony.
“We know Zidane said he didn’t want to, but I imagine it’s a case of not wanting to be in the stands, as he’s been in the last 13 or 14 matches.
“But it’s sad to see a player so young and so young in this situation. He came here as the MVP (most valuable player) of the Premier League.
“For whatever reason, he didn’t succeed here, but there is still time to do that elsewhere.”
He added: “They need to find a solution. This is an agony for the player and it is sad to see him sitting in the stands.”