Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand believes Real Madrid should have 'overridden' their fans and given Gareth Bale stronger support.
The Welshman departed the Bernabeu earlier this month, nine years after the Spanish giants broke the world transfer record to sign him from Tottenham for £86million. After scoring late goals to win the Copa Del Rey and the Champions League in his first season, Bale also went on to win four more Champions Leagues, three La Liga titles, four Club World Cups, and three UEFA Super Cups.
Unfortunately, his later years at Real Madrid soured spectacularly, as his relationship with Los Blancos' supporters and the board became increasingly fragmented. But Ferdinand believes Real should have thrown their backing behind the ex-Tottenham ace, due to his immense contribution in the club's history.
"That's where I think there was a lack of loyalty," Ferdinand said to Vibe with Five when asked about Bale's problems at the Bernabeu. "I just feel like he's been painted as this caricature that has been the negative and the bad egg in that dressing room.
"The guy has put up some of the most iconic moments in Real Madrid history in some of the biggest games that are possible to be had at club level, and he was being ushered out under a blanket and told 'don't come back'.
"The lack or respect is unreal, I can't believe it. If there's fans or whoever that feel a certain way about him, the club should be overriding and saying 'no, you come with us, we support you,' and 'what he’s done for us, will never ever be forgotten'.
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"It's a joke, it's four Champions Leagues he's won. I was there against Liverpool, the overhead kick, the geezer was doing stuff that was just like blowing your mind." Bale's unforgettable overhead kick in the 2018 Champions League final is cemented alongside the likes of Los Blancos legend and former manager Zinedine Zidane.
Unfortunately, it did very little to help Bale in the long run, as he was soon public enemy no.1 amongst the fan base. But while Ferdinand did suggest Bale could have maybe done more to ingratiate himself, he still should have been cut far more slack than he was.
"Maybe it's because he hasn't learned the language, or he hasn't bought in totally to the culture, I don't know. But the club have got to go 'no, we don't win a couple of trophies if he doesn't play, so please respect that.
"I think Gareth Bale has been unfairly treated at Real Madrid and they don't often get it too wrong with them sort of circumstances."
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