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Bale arrived from Tottenham Hotspur back in 2013 for £86 million - making him the world's most expensive player at the time.
While the transfer has yielded two La Liga titles and four Champions League wins, it is regularly referred to as a failure by 'Los Blancos' fans.
Part of that is down to the Welshman's perceived lack of interest in the club, which reached an all-time low on Thursday night.
His issues in the Spanish capital have rumbled for years and 2019 saw them escalate thanks to Bale's love of golf.
'The Golfer' and missing a team meal
Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois revealed that Bale's nickname is 'The Golfer' and admitted he once ducked out of a team bonding meal as it was 'past his bedtime'.
" Bale and (Toni) Kroos did not turn up. They reckoned the dinner was too late at night," the Beglian said.
" Bale had told us 'I am not coming to join you, guys. I go to bed at 11'."
Okay so Gareth Bale won the league by playing golf entire season. #Laliga #HalaMadrid pic.twitter.com/t2FH9cxOrP
- Todd Chavez (@khanak_08) July 16, 2020
Angry at missing the golf
Later that month, he turned up to a game against Levante watching the WGC-Mexico Championship on his phone.
Spanish TV personalty Josep Pedrerol then fumed following the game, "Bale was angry. Do you know why he was so angry?
"Because he was missing the golf. Bale was so mad because he was missing the golf which was happening at the same time as the game. Bale likes golf. He doesn't care about football... or Real Madrid either."
:rotating_light: ¡IMAGEN #JUGONES! ¡Bale, PENDIENTE del MUNDIAL de GOLF en el MÓVIL antes del PARTIDO contra el Levante! pic.twitter.com/xGnJfn2Gpm
- El Chiringuito TV (@elchiringuitotv) February 25, 2019
Playing golf instead of a pre-season tournament
Last summer saw Madrid take part in the Audi Cup and they came up against Spurs, Bale's former side. Did he feature?
No, because he was unwell. Although he managed to fit in a few swings during his downtime.
Gareth Bale plays golf whilst Madrid lose. :golfer:️♂️
Spanish tabloid @elconfidencial snapped this image of of the Welsh attacker who was reportedly "unwell" whilst his Real Madrid side lost to Tottenham in the AUDI Cup.#Bale #RealMadrid #OptusSport pic.twitter.com/JhVCyA90UG
- Optus Sport (@OptusSport) July 31, 2019
'Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order.'
This is probably the moment that ended Bale's career in Spain as he knew it.
Wales qualified for Euro 2020 with a 2-0 win over Hungary and the players celebrated by unveiling the now famous banner, as Bale paraded it around the Cardiff City Stadium.
You have to assume manager Zinedine Zidane was furious.
WALES, GOLF, MADRID...in that order!! #WALHUN #TogetherStronger #Bale pic.twitter.com/GRJ5cps1Dp
- Red Welsh FC (@RedWelshFC) November 19, 2019
Practising his golf swing in training
The winger clearly didn't care what Zidane thought.
He was back in training less than three weeks later and having some fun with the situation, despite admitting he was shocked by the negative reaction.
:joy: Si es que hay que querer a @GarethBale11
:golf: Golf como forma de vida
- El Golazo de Gol (@ElGolazoDeGol) December 6, 2019
Not learning Spanish
Not all of the issues stem from golf. Longtime teammate Marcelo revealed that Bale hasn't learnt much Spanish during his seven year spell with the club, meaning it's hard to communicate off the pitch.
"He only speaks English and we talk with gestures," the Brazilian claimed.
Pretending to fall asleep on the bench
Football's return has seen Real Madrid embark on a ten-match winning streak and seal the La Liga title.
It's the kind of record that would interest most football fans... But not Bale.
Last week saw him pretend to fall asleep under his face mask after not featuring against Alaves.
Gareth Bale. 350k+ a week. Playing in sunny Spain. Trolling Madrid every week. Plays golf now and again.
This guy is really living his best life! :sob:pic.twitter.com/PWNElp9pHS
- The Spurs Web :white_circle: (@thespursweb) July 11, 2020
Pretending to use binoculars
Days later, he didn't even wait till all substitutions had been used to hide his lack of interest as Madrid took on Granada.
Bale could be seen with a roll of wrist tape up to his face with his hand cupped in a circular motion, searching for something just 15 minutes in.
:telescope: Gareth Bale sees the #LaLiga title within distance :eye: pic.twitter.com/hG2OZOOY1O
- beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) July 13, 2020
Celebrations (or lack of) when Madrid sealed the title
Has there ever been a player who looked less excited about winning a medal?
I'm crying look at Gareth Bale:sob::sob: pic.twitter.com/pPuJOmNVP7
- :package: (@LfcWrighty) July 16, 2020
What is Bale trying to do here, this guy man :joy::joy::joy: pic.twitter.com/nnAV6n8Lxf
- Jeff ³⁴ (@JdristaJr) July 16, 2020
Bale can't be accused of not being honest, at least.
Featured Image Credit: La Liga, PA Images & Real Madrid/Twitter
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