Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale has been heavily criticised in recent weeks.
The Wales international traded Spurs for the Spanish capital in the summer of 2013 and experienced a wonderful debut campaign, scoring winning goals in the Copa Del Rey and Champions League finals.
For most clubs around the world, such a feat is likely to protect you for some considerable time no matter how below-par your subsequent performances fall.
Real Madrid, however, isn’t any normal club and opinions can range from hero to villain on any passing week, as Bale is currently finding out.
The 25-year-old isn’t at the top of his game admittedly, failing to score or make an assist in over 800 minutes worth of football and notching just three goals since the turn of the year.
But with the club currently in a much-hyped crisis, owing to his current form, Bale is a sitting duck for a barrel of media abuse, and Marca have obliged accordingly.
“Without doubt, Gareth Bale is in one of the worst periods of his career. Certainly since joining Real Madrid,” the publication state.
“Questionable for his defensive performances and greediness, his goal drought now makes a number of his teammates query his place in the team.”
It’s certainly a tough situation for Bale, and the Welshman is said to be not helping his cause due to his lack of squad integration and almost non-existence use of Spanish.
But above all, like Alexis Sanchez while at Barcelona, some players simply can’t perform to the very best of their ability when playing in the shadow of more illustrious colleagues.
Bale played with freedom in North London and the Spurs supporters idolised him. At Madrid, he is one misplaced pass away from the Santiago Bernabeu jeers and a likely earful from Cristiano Ronaldo.
A return to the Premier League could be in his best interests, but with a hefty price-tag and broken dreams there are no guarantees he would return a similar player to the star that regularly wowed at White Hart Lane.