MADRID – Real Madrid's Gareth Bale and Paris St Germain's Neymar have traded places as the most expensive player in the world but find themselves in the firing line from their own supporters as their sides prepare to meet in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Bale was booed by Real fans when he came off the bench in a 3-1 win over Real Sociedad after celebrating Wales qualifying for Euro 2020 last week by dancing in front of a tongue-in-cheek flag bearing the words 'Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order'.
Bale's contributions to Real including Champions League final goals against Liverpool and Atletico Madrid have counted for little, though, as his popularity has nosedived, although his coach and team mates have rallied behind him.
"It's logical to love your country more than your club although perhaps he made a mistake with the flag, but I know Gareth and he is 100 percent committed every day," goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois told a news conference ahead of the PSG game.
"He is professional and looks after himself. We all saw how he played on Saturday, he almost scored a great goal and if he wasn't committed he wouldn't have played like that."