Bale criticised by Toshack for failing to learn Spanish during Real Madrid stint

Gareth Bale Real Madrid Champions League final 260518
The Wales international has hinted at a summer move, with a fellow countryman and ex-Blancos boss questioning the effort he has put in over five years

Gareth Bale has faced criticism from former Real Madrid manager John Toshack for failing to learn Spanish during a five-year spell at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Having moved to the Spanish capital as part of a record-breaking transfer in 2013, the Wales international has now hinted that he could soon be heading for the exits.

He admitted after a match-winning performance in the Champions League final that he will be weighing up his options this summer as he seeks to find a starting berth “week in, week out”.

If he is to leave Madrid, then the 28-year-old will depart with a Liga title and four Champions League crowns under his belt.

He has failed to win over everybody, though, with fitness issues proving problematic and fellow Welshman Toshack questioning how much effort Bale put in to adjusting to new surroundings.

He told Cadena SER: "He is a different player from his team-mates.

"He doesn't like to speak to the press, and it's very sad that with all the time he has been in Spain, he doesn't know how to speak the language.

"If you are going to play in another country, at least you have the obligation to try.

"People will always think better of you if you make the effort."

Toshack, who has taken in two spells as Madrid boss during his coaching career, has also supported Zinedine Zidane’s decision to drop Bale at times.

Gareth Bale overhead kick Real Madrid Liverpool Champions League final 260518

He may be a superstar performer with a ‘Galactico’ profile, but his struggles to steer clear of the treatment table have proved frustrating for all concerned.

Toshack added: “If you put yourself in Zidane's situation you have to understand it.

“If you analyse the injuries you see that they are not normal.

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“Bale would undoubtedly be a starter if he did not have those injury problems.” 

Bale, who has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United, was able to end the 2017-18 with 39 appearances across all competitions.

A stunning brace off the bench against Liverpool in the Champions League final also took his goal return to a healthy 21 – his best return for Madrid since hitting 22 in his debut campaign.