When Gareth Bale Refused To Warm-Up For Real Madrid Against Levante

Gareth Bale's future at Real Madrid was clouded with more uncertainty following his latest bust-up with Zinedine Zidane, but an incident back in February suggests the Real Madrid manager isn't the problem.

Diario AS claimed that the 29-year-old Welsh winger was not keen to stretch his muscles ahead of his introduction into the match against Levante.

Sure, the Madrid ace initially warmed up, but that was before then-manager Santiago Solari decided to take off Toni Kroos in the second half and replaced him with Federico Valverde.

As the Spanish newspaper pointed out, Bale sat back down on the bench to the 'amazement' of Dani Ceballos, Marcelo and Keylor Navas.

The former Tottenham star wasn't done there. He was reportedly keen to play hardball with the Madrid boss' snub, especially as his fellow substitutes 'didn't know what he was doing' and Marcelo wanted him to continue warming up.

Did he budge? Nope. Not a chance.

Credit: El Golazo de Gol
Credit: El Golazo de Gol

In fact, one of Solari's staff, fitness coach Antonio Pintus, spotted Bale and even told him to start doing his warm-up routine.

Did it work? No. That's right, the Wales international refused that order, too.

The Madrid boss would later sub him on for Karim Benzema, which even surprised Bale at his decision.

Bale would have an impact in the match, scoring the winner from the spot kick.

However, he refused to celebrate the penalty and was compared to a "Cristiano Ronaldo mode of 'I'm not happy. Everybody, please pay attention [to me].'"

Meanwhile, Bale was an unused substitute versus Real Betis with Zidane failing to call upon his services in what may be his last appearance at the Bernabeu.

"I've got three years left on my contract. If they want me to go, they'll need to pay me €17m per season. If not, I'll stay here. And if I have to play golf, I will," he reportedly said following his side's two-nil defeat.

Will Bale leave Madrid in the summer?

Let us know in the comments.

Adnan Riaz

Adnan Riaz is a journalist for SPORTbible. He studied for a B.A. in History at the University of York and followed it up with an M.A. in Multimedia Journalism at MMU. Before he started writing about sports, he spent over four years in the gaming press. He has worked for several publications, including Hardcore Gamer, LADbible and the Manchester Evening News. Follow him on Twitter to find out what he is working on next. Got a story tip for Adnan? Email him: [email protected]

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