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Gareth Bale

'They should be ashamed of themselves' - Bale slams 'disgusting' critics after Wales brace

02:20 GMT+3 25/03/2022
Gareth Bale Wales 2021-22
The winger had been dubbed a 'Parasite' in an astonishing press attack during the build-up to Thursday's match

Wales star Gareth Bale insisted that he had no time for his "disgusting" critics after sending his nation to within a game of their first World Cup since 1958.

The Real Madrid striker opened the scoring against Austria with a brilliant free-kick and added a second just after half-time to put Wales in the ascendancy in Thursday's play-off.

The clash eventually ended 2-1, booking an eventual decider with the winner of Scotland's postponed game with Ukraine to determine who will be the final qualifier for Qatar 2022.

What was said?

"I don't need to send a message, it's a waste of my time," Bale fired after the final whistle when asked about his enthusiastic celebrations.

"It's disgusting and they should all be ashamed of themselves.

"A game away from the World Cup? It's fantastic, half the job done, I guess the good thing now is that we can enjoy tonight because the game will obviously be in June now... still another very tough game against Scotland or Ukraine and we'll be ready for that when it comes."

The bigger picture

While Bale did not identify the targets of his strong words on Thursday, earlier that day Madrid daily Marca had dedicated a savage column to the Madrid winger under the title "The Welsh Parasite".

"He settled in Spain, in Real Madrid where, masked, he first showed diligence and love for his host, but then his nature led him to suck its blood without giving anything in return," one line of the diatribe read, in reference to the winger's travails at the Santiago Bernabeu in recent years.

Injury and fitness issues have restricted Bale to just a handful of minutes on the field since September, and he looks set to leave the club this summer on a permanent basis this summer having spent the 2020-21 term on loan back at Tottenham.

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