Gareth Bale was denied a Santiago Bernabeu farewell as his frosty relationship with Zinedine Zidane hit a fresh nadir on Sunday.
The Wales star looks set to leave Real Madrid this summer, with Bale not being part of the Frenchman’s future plans at the club.
Zidane is keen to cash in on the ex-Spurs star, whom Madrid president Florentino Perez made the world’s most expensive player in 2013.
Bale, 29, has won four European Cups during his time in the Spanish capital, but has endured a miserable 2018-19 season.
And as Zidane plots an overhaul after a dismal campaign for Los Blancos, Sunday’s final La Liga game of the season looked set to be Bale’s farewell to Madrid supporters.However, during the defeat to Real Betis, Zidane coldly left Bale on the substitutes bench.
As Madrid suffered a 12th La Liga loss of the campaign, Zidane made three attacking changes – bringing on Marco Asensio, Isco and Lucas Vazquez – leaving Bale to remain on the sidelines.
When the full-time whistle was blown to loud boos and jeers from the home crowd, Keylor Navas waved goodbye ahead of his impending exit to all four corners of the ground; however, Bale, after a hug from Quique Setien, immediately went down the tunnel.
A new low for Bale, left on the bench with no chance to say goodbye (Image: Getty Images)
It is a sorry end for Bale, who has scored 102 goals for the club in just 231 appearances, including crucial Champions League Final goals as well as vital winners in other competitions.
But he has failed to win over the notoriously difficult Madrid press, whose criticism of Bale has only grown during the past 12 months.
His latest snub comes amid reports from Radioestadio that he has told club chiefs to pay up the rest of his contract if they want him to leave – a figure of almost £50million – otherwise he will just ‘play golf’.
Madrid’s campaign ended in ignominy with the 2-0 defeat to Real Betis.
Stoke flop Jese Rodriguez scored Betis’ second, after Loren had opened the scoring for the visitors.
Real Madrid fans chanted “Let’s go to the bar” as a third place finish – at least 18 points behind Barcelona and eight behind city rivals Atletico – was confirmed.