Jermaine Jenas has hit out at Real Madrid keeper Thibaut Courtois after he publicly his criticised team-mate Gareth Bale and accused him of being an outsider in the dressing room.
Courtois suggested in an interview that Bale's nickname in the Real Madrid dressing room was 'the golfer' as he rarely socialised with team-mates and preferred to play golf ahead of taking part in team dinners.
Speaking exclusively to Goal, Jenas suggested his former Tottenham team-mate Bale has always preferred to spend time with his family ahead of 'partying with team-mates', as the former midfielder offered up a stout defence of the Welshman whose two goals helped Real Madrid beat Liverpool in last season's Champions League final.
"I thought Courtois was bang out of order to say what he said about Gaz in public," BT Sport pundit Jenas told Goal.
"I got on really well with him and one of the things I loved about him was that he was his own man. If we were going out as a squad, he would often opt out and stay at home with his family, but I never had a problem with that.
"He went back home to spend time with his family in Cardiff all the time and that's him. Is there anything wrong with that? That's Gaz. He has a young family, he likes to spend time with them, so why should he go out partying with the lads every few minutes?
"If I ever had a problem with a team-mate, I went to them directly and told them to their face, but to go to the media and try to belittle a team-mate and say he doesn't like going out was not necessary.
"Why would Courtois do that? I remember speaking to Gaz at Spurs if we had a Christmas party and he would often say he would leave it. No problem, no pressure. Maybe he enjoys playing golf and spending time with his family, but when did that become a crime?
"Look, everyone is happy when things are going great and when things start going wrong, some throw punches and looking for scapegoats. They are the kind of people you don't want too have around a dressing room in my opinion."
Former Tottenham winger Bale has enjoyed success in Spain since leaving for Madrid in 2013 - winning the Champions League on four occasions and serving up some memorable moments with the Spanish giants.
With rumours suggesting his time at the club is coming to an end after he refused to celebrate with team-mate after scoring for Real Madrid last week, Bale's agent Jonathan Barnett entered the debate as he spoke to Sky Sports.
"This generation of Real fans will be talking about Gareth's goals for years to come," said Barnett. "Frankly they should be ashamed of themselves. Gareth deserves the greatest of respect.
"The way the Real fans have treated Gareth is nothing short of a disgrace. In the six years he has been in Spain, he has won everything. He is one of the best players in the world. Those fans should be kissing his feet."
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