Jose Mourinho leaves Gareth Bale in stitches with live TV dig at Welshman

-Credit: (Image: TNT Sports)
-Credit: (Image: TNT Sports)

Wales legend Gareth Bale was left in stitches as Jose Mourinho made a cheeky dig at him on live TV during the Champions League final coverage.

In the pre-match build-up to Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund at Wembley Stadium, Bale joined TNT Sports' team for a brief discussion.

Part of the punditry team was presenter Laura Woods, Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand and Bale's ex-boss and managerial icon Mourinho, who had previously been critical about the Welshman.

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Bale's love for golf is widely known and has been talked about for many years. As tensions grew between Madrid and Bale towards the latter stages of his career, he famously held up the 'Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order' flag after a Wales match.

The Cardiff-born man even played in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February 2023, less than one month after retiring from the game.

Before Bale's interview finished, Ferdinand asked the Welshman what it was like to be managed by a legend such as Mourinho. The former Tottenham Hotspur winger signed for the Galacticos in 2013, which was the same summer that Mourinho departed Madrid. However, the pair crossed paths again when Bale was loaned back to Tottenham Hotspur in September 2020.

Mourinho answered before Bale could: "That was not football! COVID, empty stadiums. That was not football."

Bale: "It was different. That's why I started drinking coffee, to get the adrenaline going!

"I loved working with Jose, it was a pleasure. Something I always wanted to do was work with him. It was only for a short period of time, at the end of my career, not in my prime, but the relationship we had was very good and yeah, I loved working with him."

Mourinho quipped back: "At that time he was already thinking about winning Augusta! He wanted to win Augusta!"

Bale replied: "Play in Augusta, maybe. But not win it!"

Augusta National is arguably the most famous golf course in the world and hosts the Masters tournament annually.

Mourinho and Bale's relationship was actually well-documented as being tense during his surprise return to Spurs three years ago, with the manager suggesting he was no longer anywhere close to the player he once was. He was hugely critical of the Welshman at times. Bale's agent confirmed in 2021 that the pair "saw football differently".

Speaking to Mirror Football, the agent said: "At Spurs, there wasn’t a fall out. I just think they didn’t see football the same way – I’m being very diplomatic here."

Writing in his Times column after being sacked by Spurs, Mourinho once claimed that Bale didn't perform against the big teams in the Premier League.

"Over the years Wales have relied a lot on Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey, the two most talented players in the country," Mourinho said.

"But when I look to the club season and how many matches Ramsey played at Juventus, there were lots of injuries.

"When we look to Gareth and how many great performances he had, how many goals he scored against the best teams, there were not many or none. It's not an easy situation for a country without many options.

"But they are always well organised and know how to create a situation to try to get the best out of the more talented players."

Despite this, Mourinho did also praise Bale at times too, saying this after a performance against Burnley: "Sometimes people write things, and sometimes, some of you like to imagine stories, you need to write stories and sometimes you like to say things that are not really true but there is not one single manager in the world that doesn't play Gareth Bale if Gareth Bale is in very good condition."