Gareth Bale has hit out at what he calls his ‘disgusting’ treatment in Spain after firing Wales past Austria in their play-off semi-final at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Bale scored both goals – the first of which was a vicious, dipping free-kick – to put Wales one game away from qualifying for the World Cup for the first time since 1958, having beaten Austria 2-1 to triumph in the semi-final.
However, the Welsh captain has been the focus of much criticism from both the press and fans during his stint in the Spanish capital. And on the morning of the make-or-break fixture with Austria, an editorial published by Marca called Bale a “parasite”.
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Bale cut a notably animated figure during his celebrations of both goals and was asked whether they were pointed.
"No. I don't need to send a message, honestly," Bale said.
"It's a waste of my time, it's just disgusting. They should also be ashamed of themselves. I'm not fussed."
Later in the day, Bale took to social media to release a statement - accusing Marca of “slanderous, derogatory and speculative journalism.”
With the other play-off semi-final – Scotland against Ukraine - for qualification Path A postponed until June on account of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Bale and Wales will have to wait for several months to find out who they will play in the final.
Bale, with his contract set to expire in June, will be a free agent by then.
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