MADRID – Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane defended Gareth Bale from criticism as the fallout continued over the Welshman's decision to celebrate his country's qualification for Euro 2020 with a flag that suggested the club were not top of his priorities.
Bale danced with a flag reading 'Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order' after Wales sealed qualification for their second consecutive European Championships earlier this week.
The forward has struggled to win over critics since arriving in Spain in 2013, despite contributing to four Champions League trophies in that time.
While it all appeared good humoured, the media in the Spanish capital failed to see the funny side and implored the club to sever ties with the player they signed for 85 million pounds ($109.28 million) six years ago, accusing Bale of a lack of respect.
"There's been a lot of noise about what he did but we need to just focus on football. It's all got a bit too much," Real coach Zidane told a news conference. "I'm just looking at what he can give us on the pitch, not what's said off it, that doesn't interest me.