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Courtois criticises Bale’s efforts to integrate at Real Madrid

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Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has criticised team-mate Gareth Bale for not doing enough to adapt to the Spanish way of life at Real Madrid.

Ever since completing his then-world record transfer of €100m from Tottenham in 2013, Bale has been frequently criticised for failing to settle into life in Spain.

The Welsh winger continues to refuse giving interviews in Spanish with team-mate Marcelo revealing earlier this month that Bale only speaks in English in the Real dressing room after nearly six years.

Former Los Blancos boss John Toshack, who also coached Bale in the Wales national team, publicly urged the 29-year-old to learn Spanish out of respect for the club’s fanbase.

Now Courtois has given some insight into Bale’s relationship with his teammates in Madrid and revealed the nickname they’ve come for him.

“The golfer,” Courtois told HLN on what Bale’s nickname, which comes from him being a keen golfer outside of footall.

The Belgium international, who arrived at Real last summer in a €35m transfer from Chelsea, then revealed how Bale recently turned down an evening with his colleagues in favour of an early night.

“For me, here I live like someone born in Madrid,” said Courtois.

“I eat late and go to bed late, it’s how you live here.

“We all had dinner recently but Bale and (Toni) Kroos didn’t go because they thought it was too late – we met up at 9.30pm and were having coffee at midnight.

“We then went to bed at 1am and had training at 11am the next day, which I believe is the perfect time to be resting.

“Bale said he wouldn’t go because he needed to be in by 11pm.”

Bale, who scored his 100th goal for Los Blancos earlier this month against city rivals Atletico Madrid, has been in and out of the squad this season due to both a lack of form and fitness issues once more.

Santiago Solari’s side will be back in action on Sunday away to Levante UD in La Liga.

VITORIA-GASTEIZ, SPAIN – OCTOBER 06: Gareth Bale of Real Madrid CF in action during the La Liga match between Deportivo Alaves and Real Madrid CF at Estadio de Mendizorroza on October 6, 2018 in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)