Soccer-Ancelotti calls on Real Madrid fans to recognise Bale's contributions


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - LaLiga - Cadiz v Real Madrid - Estadio Nuevo Mirandilla, Cadiz, Spain - May 15, 2022 Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti arrives at the stadium before the match REUTERS/Jon Nazca

(Reuters) - Carlo Ancelotti says it is important Real Madrid recognise the contribution Gareth Bale has made to club and called on fans to give him a fitting farewell in his final home game when they face Real Betis later on Friday.

The 32-year-old has made just seven appearances in all competitions this season and is set to leave as a free agent when his contract expires in the summer.

Bale has won three LaLiga titles and four Champions League crowns since joining from Tottenham Hotspur in 2013 but his time in Spain has been marred by injuries.

"Everyone knows that Bale's contract is ending and that he says goodbye to Real Madrid this year," manager Ancelotti told reporters.

"It's not important if he plays. What's important is Bale is a part of the history of this club. He'll always be in the memories of Real Madrid fans."

Bale has often been a target of the Spanish media, who labelled him a "parasite" after missing Real's 4-0 home loss to Barcelona in March, and he was jeered by some fans in making his first competitive home appearance in over two years last month.

The Welshman scored twice, including a stunning overhead kick, in the 2018 Champions League final against Liverpool and also netted a memorable winner against Barcelona in the 2014 Copa del Rey final.

"He was very important to the Decima (their 10th Champions League title) and the Copa del Rey final," added Ancelotti. "He has written some great chapters for this club, it is important we recognise that."

Bale was named in the Wales squad on Thursday for their World Cup playoff final against either Scotland or Ukraine, and three Nations League games next month.

(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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