Gareth Bale has been “careless” at Real Madrid, says former president Ramon Calderon, with the Welsh forward told he has not become the Zinedine Zidane-esque leader that the club expected.
He has helped to deliver countless major honours over the course of a six-year stay, including four Champions League crowns, but has endured form and fitness issues to see plenty of questions asked.
It is currently being suggested that his days at Santiago Bernabeu may be numbered, with a return to the Premier League in the next transfer window being mooted.
His agent, Jonathan Barnett, has sought to quash such talk and branded those sparking it a “disgrace”, but Calderon believes Bale has done his cause few favours with a refusal to integrate fully at Real and inability to silence the doubters like others have done before him.
Calderon told talkSPORT of Barnett’s blast and Bale’s situation: “They were very inappropriate comments from my point of view.
“Real Madrid fans are very respectful with their own players and also with rivals, but they are also very demanding and inflexible with some things, like a lack of commitment.
“I heard his agent say Gareth Bale loves Real Madrid, and I don’t doubt it, but he must show it.
“He has been doing some things that people don’t like. We saw how he shrugged off his team-mates after scoring a goal when they went to embrace him and celebrate, he has left the stadium in a few matches before they have finished and he’s been here for six years and still doesn’t speak the language.
“So a few things have been perceived by the fans as an indifference or careless attitude towards the club.
“He doesn’t speak a single word of our language after six years, that’s clearly a lack of commitment from my point of view, and from the point of view of the fans.
“I’m sure that he’s trying to do things in the right way but it’s also clear that, with the injuries and for other reasons, he hasn’t delivered with the expectation when he came here. He hasn’t been that leader Real Madrid and the fans were expecting.
“Fans are very demanding with any player – they were the same with Alfredo Di Stefano, the greatest of all time at Real Madrid, and with Zidane, they were booing him for months after he came to Real Madrid because his performances were not the right ones.
“So he [Barnett] must not complain about that, he has perhaps to push Gareth to behave in another way.”
With transfer talk building heading towards the summer, the idea of a return to Tottenham has been floated for Bale, while Chelsea and Manchester United have also been credited with interest in the 29-year-old.