Real Madrid supporters have called for Gareth Bale to be benched for the rest of the season, according to a poll by Spanish newspaper AS.
The front page of the paper translates as:
‘The fans bench Bale! 54.1% want him benched, 36.98% Lucas Vazquez, Vinicius 8.91%.’
Despite winning four Champions League titles, one La Liga and the Copa Del Rey during five-and-a-half seasons at the club, Bale has remained unpopular with parts of the fanbase.
On the return from his latest injury on Sunday, Bale climbed off the bench to score Real Madrid’s fourth in a routine 4-2 victory at Espanyol and register his 99th goal for the club.
The Spanish giants are now third in La Liga, 10 points behind leaders Barcelona and five off second-placed Atletico Madrid after 21 games.
However, after the match Bale did not appear to be in attendance as his team-mates went for a group meal to celebrate a third successive victory.
Only Toni Kroos and Keylor Navas were also absent for the bonding session as Santiago Solari’s squad look to keep climbing the table.
The Welshman has also won three UEFA Super Cups, three Club World Cups and one Spanish Supercopa while in Spain.
In his place, Los Blancos supporters want to see teenager Vinicius Jr handed a regular role in the starting line-up.
The Brazilian has impressed since joining in the summer despite the squad struggling to keep pace with Barcelona in La Liga.
Bale, meanwhile, has struggled to replace Cristiano Ronaldo, who was sold to Juventus in the summer.
Injuries have restricted Bale’s impact this term, with only 11 goals and 24 games so far for the Madrid club