Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale's family ask him to leave Real Madrid on his terms

Jamie Spencer
Gareth Bale has won 13 trophies - including four Champions League titles - with Real Madrid
Gareth Bale has won 13 trophies - including four Champions League titles - with Real Madrid / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Gareth Bale is set to leave Real Madrid at the end of the season, but the player’s family and friends are believed to have told him to do so on his terms with pride and dignity.

Having spent last season on loan at Tottenham, Bale has returned to Madrid for the final year of his contract, which expires in June. At that point, the 32-year-old will leave as a free agent, bringing this chapter of his career to a close nine years after he first joined Los Blancos.

Injury has kept Bale sidelined for most of the season and he hasn’t played since August because of successive knee, calf and back problems, as well as testing positive for coronavirus in December. But he did return to the bench for Real’s La Liga draw with Elche last weekend.

In Spain, Marca writes that respect for Bale in Madrid has been restored following the re-appointment of Carlo Ancelotti, under whom he won his first Champions League title in 2014.

It is also said that family and friends have asked that he doesn’t simply leave Real anonymously via the backdoor, but with the pride of a player who has won 13 trophies.

Bale’s future after leaving Real in the summer has been the subject of much speculation. He has previously been linked with the idea of early retirement but is also thought to be motivated by potentially playing at the 2022 World Cup with Wales.

Bale has already played a major role in taking Wales to Euro 2016, which was the country’s first international tournament in 58 years, and Euro 2020, and a first World Cup since 1958 is in reach.

The Welsh are in the second round of European qualifying and will be heading to Qatar in November if they can see off Austria and then either Scotland or Ukraine in their playoff bracket.

For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter and Facebook!