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Gareth Bale speaks perfect Spanish & why he plays so much golf

Chris Coleman interview with The Athletic

Now 49, Chris Coleman has sat down for an in-depth interview with The Athletic.

Coleman is now on football’s sidelines as he waits for his next job.

Previously, Coleman has managed the Welsh national team and Chinese side Hebei China Fortune.

Gareth Bale can speak ‘perfect Spanish’

Perhaps the most interesting set of quotes in the Coleman interview relate to Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale.

It’s been a rollercoaster few months for the Welsh forward.

In the summer, Zinedine Zidane made it clear he wanted Bale to leave the club.

However, that never happened, and Bale has begun the new season with two goals in three La Liga games.

During all the furore in the summer over Bale, the likes of John Toshack slammed the Welsh forward for failing to integrate himself in Spanish life.

Toshack has previously told the Spanish press:

When you move to a foreign team and out of respect for the fans, one needs to make an effort to speak the language in question. Bale needs to make an effort.

Yet, Coleman has defended Bale to The Athletic.

According to Coleman, Bale does speak Spanish:

I saw John Toshack saying Gareth hasn’t given enough of himself to the public in Madrid.

I’ve been with Gareth in Madrid, in a restaurant, and he’s speaking perfect Spanish, ordering food, greeting people.

He was very polite, but it’s his own space. He has done all his talking on the pitch.

Cynics may wonder about Coleman’s command of Spanish.

Is Coleman really in the best position to determine how well Bale speaks the language?

Why Bale plays so much golf

Another common line of attack against Bale is that he prefers golf to football.

Indeed, it’s well-known that Bale spends a lot of his time on the golf course in Madrid.

His nickname in Madrid is ‘The Golfer’.

However, Coleman feels all the conversation Bale’s love of golf is unfair:

When he comes home he plays golf, stays with his family, in his little circle.

Be yourself. If he’s not happy in his head he won’t be right on the pitch.

Also see: PSG confirm Neymar’s European ban has been reduced to two games.

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