Gareth Bale is to blame for Sunday night’s El Clasico defeat and Julen Lopetegui’s sacking, according to Real Madrid legend Jorge Valdano.
The Wales international lost Jordi Alba for Barcelona’s opening goal in the 5-1 drubbing at the Camp Nou and was largely ineffective going the other way as well.
As a result of the crushing defeat, Lopetegui lost his job after overseeing the worst start for Los Blancos in 17 seasons.
However, former sporting director Valdano believes Bale must take some of the blame for his part in the former Spain boss’ sacking.
“We keep looking at Bale because of his price tag and that’s created this illusion he’s some sort of world superstar,” said Valdano, a former Real player and sporting director.
“But the last five years aren’t reflective of what Madrid paid for him.”
Speaking about Barcelona’s opening goal, he added: “Bale was the one in charge of tracking Jordi Alba but after seven minutes his concentration was gone. Alba was on his own down that flank.
“At the start of the game, the players respected the system and instructions.
“But then they do what comes naturally to them, as Bale did, and think they have the authority to do whatever they like.’’
Santiago Solari has been placed in temporary charge of the LaLiga giants, with Mauricio Pochettino and Antonio Conte rumoured to be in the running for the permanent position.