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Featured Image Credit: PA Images & Instagram: Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale has been criticised for skipping Real Madrid's La Liga title victory celebrations at the Bernabeu.
Madrid beat Espanyol 4-0 on Saturday to clinch the Spanish title with four games to spare.
A brace from Rodrygo and second-half goals from Marco Asensio and Karim Benzema sealed a comfortable win for Real, who have regained the title from bitter rivals Atletico Madrid.
The squad celebrated the victory with their families on the pitch at the Bernabeu after the match, with the club's injured and suspended players taking part.
But there was no sign of Bale, who had withdrawn from the squad ahead of the match due to back pain.
Spanish journalist Lucas Navarette confirmed Bale wasn't present for the celebrations.
“Injured and suspended players have join the team's celebration now. Each and every one of them. But not Gareth Bale,” he tweeted.
It is not clear if Bale will join up with the rest of the squad for the club's customary celebrations at the Cibeles fountain in central Madrid.
And Real Madrid fans have reacted angrily to his no-show at the Bernabeu.
“A player who was trusted by the club and given a long term contract but decided to continually show disdain for the club because coaches had the audacity to demand consistency from him on the pitch. That ain’t my legend,” wrote one fan on Twitter.
Another wrote: “Bale refused to be part of Real Madrid celebration group. Get that fella out of this club. I don't want to see him even on the bench anymore.”
Injured and suspended players have join the team's celebration now. Each and every one of them.— Lucas Navarrete (@LucasNavarreteM) April 30, 2022
But not Gareth Bale.
Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has already confirmed Bale will leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the season.
“I have a good relationship with him and the rest of the players,” Ancelotti said back in February.
“Personal relationships are strong when everyone shows respect and he has always done that and has never let me down in that regard.
“In the past, he hasn't had great motivation, but he wants to end things here in a good way.
Bale didn’t come out for the celebrations at the Bernabeu. A player who was trusted by the club and given a long term contract but decided to continually show disdain for the club because coaches had the audacity to demand consistency from him on the pitch. That ain’t my legend— Harvey (@akajoebass) April 30, 2022
Bale refused to be part of Real Madrid celebration group. Get that fella out of this club. I don't want to see him even on the bench anymore.— S3 (@Jamesmology) April 30, 2022
Bale excused himself from the match today and also from the team’s celebration.— Daddy Z (@TheSeunOreks) April 30, 2022
“Bale has helped this club to win the Champions League, Copa del Rey and signing off on a high here would be good for his career.”
Bale has scored 106 goals in 258 games for Madrid since joining the club in a £85.3m move from Tottenham in 2013.
He has won three La Liga titles and the Champions League four times while at the Bernabeu.
In total, he has won 15 trophies with Madrid and could yet add to that tally - with the club still in contention in the Champions League this season.
They trail Manchester City 4-3 heading into their semi-final second leg in Spain on Wednesday night.