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Madrid Fans Fined and Banned
Friday, March 27
A member of Madrid and two others have each received charges of £2,200 and had six-month bans from "sports installations" imposed after the attack on Bale's car, reported by Pete Jenson and Kieran Gill of the MailOnline.
Jenson notes a Spanish government commission made the decision after the unsavoury incident.
Bale's Car Attacked After Clasico Loss
Monday, March 23
AS.com reports a "complicated return" to the side's Valdebebas training centre, where some fans are said to have awaited the players' arrival in the capital. It is suggested "fans were shouting" and "hurling insults" at their stars. Television station Cuatro also recorded images of supporters "hitting the car of Gareth Bale."
Nicholas Rigg of AS tweeted an image from the alleged incident:
Tancredi Palmeri of beIN SPORTS also commented:
The club issued a statement, revealing it will take legal action on the matter, via BBC Sport:
"Real Madrid will take any applicable legal action against the individuals responsible," a club statement said.
Real said one club member had been suspended pending an investigation.
The club added it had already identified the individuals responsible for what it called "aggressive and violent actions against several of our players".
Previously, Bale was said to have been verbally abused following Madrid's recent loss to Schalke, reported by Matt Morlidge of the MailOnline. Morlidge shared a video from AS that allegedly showed Bale being insulted as he departed the stadium. MailOnline tweeted a rundown of the reported slurs:
Incidentally, it appears two different vehicles are on show in the two stories.
Such reports only add to what is becoming a difficult campaign for the Welshman. He was unlucky to have seen a goal wrongfully ruled out during Sunday's Clasico, but in truth, Bale offered little to Madrid's cause across the rest of the match.
Rigg summarised AS' thoughts on his performance:
Bale's form has been under close inspection since January, when he was jeered by Madrid fans for failing to pass the ball to Cristiano Ronaldo, who had an empty net gaping.
Madrid beat Espanyol 3-0 on that day, but Bale didn't escape the wrath of an extremely demanding crowd. AS (h/t Sky Sports) labelled him a "ball hog," something that hasn't been aided by his one assist in 11 matches, per WhoScored.com.
At Tottenham, Bale was allowed to roam free, pick his space and burst forward in the knowledge attacks would shape around his position. Carlo Ancelotti has pushed him primarily to the wing—perhaps in fear of him infringing on Ronaldo's game—and expects Bale to work harder on the defensive side of things.
He showed decent energy against Barca, but there's a long way to go before he can be considered an effective defensive outlet at the top level, surprising considering his roots as a left-back.
Wales manager Chris Coleman recently addressed concerns over Bale and the prospect that he could escape La Liga to join Chelsea or Manchester United, a possibility reported by Phil Blanche of the Press Association Sport (h/t Daily Mail):
He should stay where he is. Chelsea are a huge club and have been successful as are Manchester United—but Real Madrid is Real Madrid. Gareth's good enough to win the big trophies, play on the big stage and play with the biggest club.
He's been caught up in a bit of a storm but, knowing Gareth as I do, I'd be really surprised if he said, 'I've had enough, I'm not accepting that and I'm coming home.'
Marca's report on Bale's performance was damning, noted by FourFourTwo writer Andy Murray's accidentally mixed translation:
Just a few days before, Pablo Polo of Marca suggested Bale "regained his mojo," with the return of former Spurs midfielder Luka Modric aiding his quest to improve.
It's certainly going to be an interesting end to the season for the 25-year-old. Should the negative headlines and reported incidents continue, it won't be a surprise to see Bale's time in Spain come to an end. He achieved so much in his first season with the club—highlighted by pivotal goals in the Copa del Rey and Champions League finals—but football is a fickle game.
The spotlight is getting hotter for a player who, quite justifiably, would walk into most teams on the planet.