The Real Madrid goalkeeper wants to see his Santiago Bernabeu team-mate silence his critics by proving that he has learned a second language
Thibaut Courtois has challenged Real Madrid team-mate Gareth Bale to give an interview in Spanish and silence those who continue to question his commitment to the Blancos.
His reluctance to speak a second language in public has added fuel to the fire of those quick to write off the Wales international and his spell at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Bale has collected a healthy haul of silverware during his time in Spain, including four Champions League crowns, but has faced plenty of criticism for his actions on and off the field.
Niggling injuries have done his cause few favours, while his penchant for golf and apparent reluctance to integrate fully into the Madrid squad has seen him marginalised by some.
Courtois is among those to have fanned the flames with “the golfer” talk, but the Belgian claims to be a close associate of Bale.
The former Chelsea goalkeeper is happy to speak English with the ex-Tottenham winger, but can also hold a conversation with the 30-year-old in Spanish.
He is now looking for Bale to show the rest of the world that he has fully embraced a new culture, with the Welshman capable of giving an interview to the locals in Madrid “perfectly well”.
Courtois told Marca: “I get on best with the young players like Fede [Valverde] Brahim, before with [Sergio] Reguilon… I have Casemiro by my side and I also speak a lot with him, also with Isco and Eden [Hazard]… they are who I spend most time with.
“In the end, I’m an easy person to get along with. I speak four languages (English, Dutch, French and Spanish) and I always studied German at school, so I speak a little bit. And, with so many Brazilian teammates, I’m learning a bit of Portuguese.
“I like to keep up my English with Gareth, although he speaks better Spanish than people think. He could give an interview in Spanish perfectly well. I speak to him a lot, I also like golf.
“Gareth does everything to win matches.
“They always go after him for the same things: golf, the language… I want to see him go out and give an interview in Spanish because he speaks very well in the dressing room with lots of teammates and he understands it very well.
“But it’s his thing if he prefers to speak English, it would only be to stop people saying these things [about his Spanish] and they can see that he’s very devoted.”
Bale has endured another injury-hit campaign in 2019-20 and has mustered just two goals through 13 appearances.
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