Real Madrid delivered a suitably dreadful end to their miserable season, and Gareth Bale was not even given the chance to say a likely goodbye, as Zinedine Zidane’s side were beaten 2-0 at home to Real Betis on Sunday.
Zidane had indicated this could be Bale’s final game ahead of an expected summer departure but the Welshman was left on the bench, made to watch on as three substitutes came on ahead of him at the Santiago Bernabeu.
None were able to revive another dreary and disjointed Madrid performance, which concluded both the season and first phase of Zidane’s much-hailed return as coach.
“The best thing for us is that it’s over and we can think about next year,” he said afterwards. “Because things will change, for sure.”
As the players saluted the fans at the end, they were greeted by a chorus of whistles.
By then, Bale was already off down the tunnel, perhaps aware that any attempt at a farewell could be given an even colder reception.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t give Bale minutes today,” Zidane said. “But I don’t know what’s going to happen, I have to make decisions based on today and the match.”