According to a common narrative, Gareth Bale is more interested in playing golf than playing football – but his captain has no issues with what he does outside of club time.
Bale had everything but his ponytail out of the exit door over the summer before a proposed move to China collapsed and he stayed at Real Madrid.
The 30-year-old has since managed to work his way into Zinedine Zidane’s good books and has arguably been Real’s best player so far this season, scoring twice in their last fixture – a 2-2 draw against Villarreal.
Bale has been pictured numerous times playing golf outside of his day job – he plays off a handicap of five and has a three-hole course for a garden back in Wales – but his skipper Sergio Ramos has no problem with his commitment.
“I think Bale’s a great player and he’s been really important for the club in the years he’s been with us. You find many things in the press. Some are true, some are not. We live in this world and we have to try to be above all that,” Ramos told the Daily Mail while promoting his new personal documentary.
“Regarding what has been said about Gareth, I think time puts everything in place. Regardless of what each player does in his personal life, I think it should be respected and not even talked about. We’re free to do what we want with our free time.”
Ⓒ @SergioRamos— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) September 8, 2019
🙌14 years at @RealMadrid... and 20 titles
💫 4x Champions League
🌐 4x Club World Cup
⭐ 3x UEFA Super Cup
🏆 4x LaLiga
👑 2x Copa del Rey
🇪🇸 3x Spanish Super Cup#HalaMadrid pic.twitter.com/SUlWlmvLH9
Bale’s good form has not coincided with a return to prominence for Real, who have kicked off their season with just one win from three games.
Zidane has yet to recapture the magic that saw him lead the club to three consecutive Champions League titles in his first stint as manager, but Ramos claims the France legend has returned an even better coach.
“He remains the same person. He keeps his essence as a manager. He has more experience, explained Ramos. “I would sum up in essence he is the same person, but better because he has more experience.’
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