'We all know who the real parasite is!' - Bale launches stinging rebuttal to media criticism

6:01 PM WAT 25/03/2022
The Real Madrid and Wales star has offered a response to press coverage that dubbed him a "parasite" in the lead-up to Thursday's win over Austria

Gareth Bale has doubled down on his criticism of media coverage of his career, launching a scathing rebuttal on social media while offering a plea for change in the way professional athletes are covered.

The Real Madrid and Wales star has cut a polarising figure during his stay abroad with Los Blancos over the past decade but remains a firm national hero back home after helping the nation to a Euro 2016 semi-final finish.

On the back of Thursday's supreme performance to take his country within 90 minutes of a first World Cup appearance since 1958, Bale has now further doubled down on broadside against tabloid publications for their coverage of his career, with particular ire aimed at Spanish outlet Marca, who described him as a "parasite".

What has been said?

"The Daily Mail [is] shining a light on this piece of slanderous, derogatory and speculative journalism by Marca," Bale wrote in a lengthy message published to Twitter.

"At a time where people are taking their own lives because of the relentlessness and the callousness of the media, I want to know [just] who is holding these journalists and the news outlets that allow them to write articles like this accountable?

"I hope that by the time my children are of an age where they are able to ingest news, journalism ethics and standards will have been enforced more stringently. We all know who the real parasite is!"

Bale offers latest rebuttal to media frenzy

Bale originally offered a response to Marca's claims after the full-time whistle in Cardiff on Thursday, after his outstanding double either side of half-time did enough for Wales to defeat Austria and move to the final of Path A in the second round of UEFA qualification for Qatar 2022.

The forward stated that he did not need to waste his time with a response to the outlet, only describing their words as "disgusting" following his side's 2-1 win at Cardiff City Stadium.

Wales will now have to wait until June to discover their World Cup fate, with the other semi-final in Path A between Scotland and Ukraine postponed amid the ongoing Ukraine-Russia crisis.

Further reading