Bale blamed for Lopetegui sacking in stunning blast by Real Madrid legend

Real Madrid legend Jorge Valdano has blamed Gareth Bale for the club’s El Clasico humiliation and subsequent sacking of Julen Lopetegui

The Wales forward was seen as the heir to Cristiano Ronaldo when he joined from Tottenham for £86million in 2013.

But Valdano laid into him following Sunday’s 5-1 thrashing at Barcelona, the game which has ultimately sealed the fate of ex-Spain boss Lopetegui.

“We keep looking at Bale because of his price tag and that’s created this illusion he’s some sort of world superstar,” said Valdano, a former Real player and sporting director.

“But the last five years aren’t reflective of what Madrid paid for him.”

Speaking about Barcelona’s opening goal, he added: “Bale was the one in charge of tracking Jordi Alba but after seven minutes his concentration was gone. Alba was on his own down that flank.

“At the start of the game, the players respected the system and instructions.

"But then they do what comes naturally to them, as Bale did, and think they have the authority to do whatever they like.’’

Lopetegui has been axed after just five months in charge at the Santiago Bernabeu, with the reigning European champions a lowly ninth in La Liga.

Santiago Solari has been placed in temporary charge, with Los Blancos having been unable to agree a deal with Antonio Conte – amid suggestions some senior players aren’t keen on the Italian taking over.

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