Spanish newspaper Marca singled out Gareth Bale as Wales’ weak link after a dismal two-goal display in their World Cup play-off semi-final victory over Austria last night.
The publication rated the Real Madrid winger’s performance at 2 out of 10 as he failed to deliver on the big stage once again.
Bale, lacklustre throughout, could only manage to score both of Wales’ goals and was eventually substituted in the 94th minute.
They were the fourth and fifth goals he’s scored during what must be considered another hugely disappointing qualifying campaign for the Welshman.
‘Robert Page finally lost patience with Bale and hauled him off seconds before the full-time whistle,’ wrote Marca.
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‘Welsh fans waved white handkerchiefs at the parasite as he left the field to a chorus of boos.’
‘Bale responded by unfurling a flag which read: ‘Golf, Madrid, Wales. In that order.’
‘The 32-year-old goaded fans further by shouting ‘Tom Jones is sh*te’ and had to be given a police escort back to the changing room.’
‘You have to wonder how much longer the likes of Joe Allen and Dan James can keep carrying this passenger?’, concluded the Spanish match reporter.
A separate Marca feature claims Bale’s 25th-minute free-kick was a cross that went awry.
‘As he stands over the ball, the camera shows him winking at Joe Rodon as if to say: “Get your head on the end of this my son,”’ it claimed.
‘He takes a wild swing at the ball and shanks it past the flat-footed goalkeeper into the opposite top corner of the goal.’
‘It will rank alongside some of the flukiest goals of all time, including Darren Bent’s infamous beachball strike against Liverpool and any goal scored by Bosko Balaban for Aston Villa.’
Meanwhile, following his brace against Austria, Bale is keen to get back to Madrid to prove his doubters wrong.
‘The Spanish media didn’t think I’d make it back for the 11am tee-off but I showed them!’
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