One of Gareth Bale’s former teammates didn’t hold back any punches when he revealed what he believes Bale needs to do to win over Real Madrid’s fans.
In an exclusive interview with The Evening Standard, the Dutchman expressed that he thinks Bale needs to be an ‘a**hole’ to win back the fans at Madrid.
Bale has been public enemy number one with Madrid fans after he’s failed to fill the massive void left by Cristiano Ronaldo, when you add this to the fact that not a day goes by where the superstar isn’t linked with the exit door – it’s fair to say that Bale has been enduring quite the rough ride in Spain.
Bale was heavily booed by fans during a match against Barcelona last month, the Welshman desperately needs to turn things around at Madrid and that starts with winning back the fans.
Here’s what Van der Vaart had to say about Bale needing to be more selfish:
“It’s strange, but in Holland we say that sometimes you need to be an a***hole,”
“You can also be a positive a***hole. He’s worth €100m — they paid a lot of money and he has to do it. In his last year at Spurs, he took every free-kick, he decided everything.
“That’s what he has to do [at Real]. I realise it’s difficult, because you have so many good players, but he should do it more.”
Bale joined Los Blancos in the summer of 2013 for a then world-record fee of £85m, as per BBC Sport.
The 29-year-old has enjoyed the highest of highs during his time in Madrid – he’s won the Champions League on four occasions since his switch, but in recent seasons it looks he’s been enduring the lowest of lows.
The star’s time in Spain has been plagued with injury troubles and despite his past heroics for Madrid – the Welshman has found himself as one of the main target’s of abuse from fans.
Van der Vaart also added that he’s unsure if Bale has the temperament to deal with the criticism being aimed towards him:
“Gareth is an amazing player but he’s a person that has to feel the confidence,”
“He has to feel he is welcome. But I know Real is a difficult club if you don’t perform. It doesn’t matter if you’re Ronaldo, Bale or Van der Vaart — they’ll throw you out after just one year.
“You have to deal with it — and I don’t know if he can do that. I know him as a person and, with a Spurs hat, I always hope he’ll say, ‘Okay, I’ll come back’. I don’t think it’s going to happen, but that would be a nice story.”