Most football fans who are familiar with the Premier League will tell you that on occasion, they find the English press frustrating. The TV coverage – yes Adrian Chiles, we are looking at you- is another thing all together, but all in all, we don’t have it too bad.
In Spain however, the Spanish press is literally the bane of a football fan’s life. If Sport are not printing ‘stories’ about Alexis Sanchez and his pet rabbit, Marca are running yet another campaign to oust a Real Madrid manager.
All that is par for the course, and begrudgingly, fans tend to now expect this. What neither the fans of the club nor the board will tolerate however are stories that are downright lies. Yes, certain stories have an opinion, or journalistic licence which rightly or wrongly makes the story slightly more interesting. We know that and understand it. Sensationalism is par for the course. Out and out lies are not.
Real Madrid this week were forced to categorically deny front page claims from their supposed mouthpiece Marca, who claimed that Gareth Bale was set for surgery and would face four months out. The publication noted that he had a slipped disk in his back – and that the club knew about this when presenting the player.
As per usual, something that was a minor issue that could have easily been dealt with internally was blown up and printed on the front page. Even after Bale’s agent, Jonathon Barnett called Marca and told them the story was incorrect, the ‘newspaper’ chose to print it regardless.
Barnett claimed: “The whole story is complete rubbish, irresponsible and a disgrace. I was contacted by a reporter from Marca. I told them that it was complete rubbish and yet they still printed it. Whatever they say is a lie. It is stupid and irresponsible. He passed the medical and he is 100% fit. There is nothing wrong with him. He is the most expensive signing in history; if there had been any problem they would have stopped the signing.
“He is back training normally and he’ll be available to Mr Ancelotti after the [international] break. He has [had] a slight tear in his thigh. He is angry that a newspaper can write such rubbish.”
For most normal people, angry would be a slight understatement. Bale has now been dubbed the ‘new Kaka’ by the rest of the Spanish media – a rather unkind taunt for a player who may have only featured for 136 minutes, but is a million miles away from becoming the next Kaka. He has a goal to his name for starters.
Real Madrid have claimed that they are fully behind Bale, and are unhappy with Marca’s latest indiscretion, yet just how many times they are willing to allow the paper to make offensive and downright lies without cutting ties with the paper remains to be seen.
Bale for his part is expected to be fit to make his return before El Clasico at the end of the month and the double header against Juventus in the Champions League.
Many people have questioned the price tag on Bale’s head, and quite if he will live up to such huge expectations remain to be seen. What is clear, for the umpteenth time is that Marca are once again doing more harm than good to the club they claim to hold in such high esteem.
Do you think Marca need to be reprimanded? Let us know your thoughts below or tweet us @LaFootyettes.