The Real Madrid forward has been in Spain for almost six years, and his shockingly low knowledge of Spanish has been a cause for much consternation, both in Spain and back home in the United Kingdom.
Gareth Bale moved to Real Madrid from Tottenham Hotspur in September 2013 for a then record deal that was somewhere to the tune of £85.3 million (€100 million), and has since then been an integral part of Los Blancos’ search for glory in all competitions, especially in the Spanish giants winning four Champions League crowns over five years!
Recently, the Welshman appeared in a humorous video alongside Madrid teammates Luka Modric, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo and Casemiro, who took turns asking him a series of questions, in both Spanish and English. “What are the three things you carry in your luggage,” Modric asked in Spanish. “I don’t have a clue what you’ve just said,” was Bale’s reply in English.
“Gaz, how do you celebrate Christmas?” Ramos enquired in Spanish. “With my family,” Bale answered in Spanish, surprising one and all with his correct answer. Then, the 29-year-old took his turn to ask some questions to his mates in English. “Cartoons or documentaries?” asked the 29-year-old to Marcelo. “Cartoons, of course,” stated Marcelo.
“You understand — cartoons?” Marcelo then jokingly quizzed Casemiro. “Gareth, let me explain something here,” Marcelo said to Bale in English. “What is your favourite beach destination?” the Brazilian asked in Spanish. “It would probably be Los Angeles,” Bale responded in English.
While the exchange was hilarious and could be seen in a positive light, the fact that the left-back-turned-attacker has barely registered any proper knowledge of Spanish has been a bone of contention for a while now. Bale has especially had a difficult time over the past few years, both with the clubs notoriously difficult fans and managers like Zinedine Zidane, Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari.
The exit of the former French star, along with Cristiano Ronaldo, was supposed to herald a new don for the former PFA Players’ Player of the Year, but injuries and a refusal to be even a bit accommodating have renewed rumours that Bale could be at the end of the line of his Spanish tenure, with him being heavily-linked to perennial chasers Manchester United and a host of other European Clubs.
There Was another question Bale’s former Tottenham team-mate Modric asked him, in Spanish, which was “What are the three things you carry in your luggage?” which left Bale looking as perplexed as ever. “I don’t have a clue what you’ve just said,” was his reply, with a deadpan expression. This has been the recurring theme of Bale’s relationship with Madrid and the supporters, who blame his lack of interest in the local language and culture as the reason for his deteriorating relationship with them and the reason he has never been truly at home in the capital city. And they are not wrong at all with their analysis, and it remains to be seen what exactly the superstar does regarding his future.