Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has revealed the club’s players call Gareth Bale ‘The Golfer’ in a dig at the Welshman over his failure to integrate.
Bale has been in Madrid for close to six years now, but has never quite lived up to expectations in the Spanish capital since his big move from Tottenham in the summer of 2013.
In terms of silverware, the 29-year-old has had a great time at the Bernabeu, winning four Champions League titles, La Liga and the Copa del Rey.
However, he has rarely looked as good as he did in his final few seasons at Spurs, and it seems he’s not exactly taken to the continental lifestyle.
Courtois has revealed as much in an interview with Belgian newspaper HLN, with translation from Sky Sports, where he says Madrid players call Bale ‘The Golfer’ and that he recently snubbed his team-mates on a night out because they were eating dinner so late.
“It is very hard to describe Gareth in one word.
“I would say he has so much talent, but that it is such a shame that so often that talent is blocked from shining.”
He added: “I live like somebody who is born and bred in Madrid. I eat late, I go bed late… it is their way of life.
“The other night we had a dinner with the entire squad.
“But Bale and (Toni) Kroos did not turn up. They reckoned the dinner was too late at night.
“We had arranged to be in the restaurant at 9.30pm and we started out meal around 10.15pm and by midnight we were having coffee.
“We go to bed at around 1am. We have to train every morning at 11am. I think that is a perfect time.
“But Bale had told us ‘I am not coming to join you, guys. I go to bed at 11’.”