September 6, 2019 / 3:25 AM / 3 months ago

Bale expects more turbulence at Real Madrid after pre-season woes

Soccer Football - Euro 2020 Qualifier - Wales Press Conference - Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff, Britain - September 5, 2019 Wales' Gareth Bale during the press conference Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

(Reuters) - Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale expects his rocky relationship with the Spanish club to experience more turbulence despite a strong start to the campaign after almost leaving them in the close season.

The 30-year-old Welshman was involved in a tense stand-off with Zinedine Zidane during the off-season, with the coach stating he was keen for Bale to leave, although a reported move to Chinese club Jiangsu Suning in July was scrapped.

“I understand I was made more of a scapegoat than most, I take it with a pinch of salt even though maybe it’s not all fully fair,” Bale told Sky Sports ahead of Wales’ European qualifier against Azerbaijan on Friday.

“I wouldn’t say I’m playing happy but... when I am playing I am professional and always giving all I can, whether that be for club or country.

“I’m sure there’ll be plenty more turbulence... I suppose it’s something you’ll have to speak to Real about and it’s between me and them... we’ll have to come to some sort of conclusion.”

Bale, who has been backed to remain in Spain after a change of heart by Zidane, said he had taken the turmoil in his stride and has since ended a scoring drought going back to March with a brace in Real’s 2-2 draw at Villarreal last weekend.

“I know there was a lot of talk, with people saying the good, bad, or whatever they wanted ... things in football can turn quickly and it’s just a matter of time,” he said.

“It wasn’t the worst time of my career, it’s not been ideal but I know how to deal with it.

“You get rewarded with the work you put in and I’ve started the season well.”

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Greg Stutchbury

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