GARETH BALE has defended Eden Hazard for laughing after Real Madrid's recent Champions League exit at the hands of Chelsea.
The Belgian was labelled a 'disgrace' by fans of the Spanish club, while El Chiringuito pundits blasted that he should be sold.
But Bale, who himself has been a pantomime villain in Madrid, has come to the defence of Hazard, insisting that it's 'just a game of football'.
Referencing the now-infamous El Chiringuito clips, Bale, 31, told The Times Magazine: "I've seen it.
"It was literally as if he'd just murdered everybody. It's a game of football at the end of the day."
After being seen in fits of laughter with old mate Kurt Zouma in the immediate aftermath of Madrid's Champions League exit, Hazard was called 'another Bale' – after the Welshman's attitude was criticised last season.
One pundit even said: "There are some players who come to Real Madrid, but Real Madrid does not go into them. He can't stay a minute more at Real Madrid."
Some fans blasted Hazard for being a 'disgrace' and 'lacking professionalism' with some even demanding he is 'sold immediately'.
And Spanish newspapers AS and Marca both gave him a zero in their player ratings.
Hazard, 30, has managed 43 appearances since sealing his dream move to the Spanish capital from Chelsea in 2019 – scoring only five times.
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And in a recent conversation with former club Lille's website, he admitted to going missing in certain big games.
He said: "At Lille, Chelsea, with the national team and now at Real Madrid, there have been great games in which I didn’t respond, I can’t hide it."
Hazard could be re-joined on the Real Madrid naughty step by Bale in the coming months, with the winger set to return from his mixed loan spell at Spurs.
Bale, whose £600,000-a-week contract still has another year to run, could then RETIRE aged just 32 – with AS saying his career is winding down.
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