Controversial Real Madrid CF winger Gareth Bale received both jeers and applause during Saturday night's La Liga victory against Real Sociedad. The team won comfortably, 3-1. Bale started from the bench but many were surprised that he was called up at all.

As the Welshman's name was called into the lineup at the start of the match, Real Madrid fans could be heard whistling and booing. Some were clapping, but the hostility was palpable. Loyal fans of Los Blancos were still reeling from the insult posed by the flag that Bale's Welsh teammates waved as they celebrated their qualification into Euro 2020 last week. The flag read: "Wales.Golf.Madrid, In that order," which was a clear dig at journalists who have been saying that Bale had been more dedicated to his golf game instead of contributing to his club.

Bale started from the bench but came in to replace Rodrygo in the 67th minute. As he entered the pitch, the crowd erupted with a mix of boos and cheers once again. A small section of the crowd stood up to cheer him on but the boos were loud and clear.

Real Sociedad had taken a very early goal in the 2nd minute thanks to an intercepted weak back pass by captain Sergio Ramos. Karim Benzema scored an equalised just before half-time and Fede Valverde put the hosts in front early into the second half.

Bale didn't score a goal but he kept his head down and proved his worth. In the 74th minute, he sent a cross towards Benzema, who in turn sent it into the path of the fireball, Luka Modric. The reigning Ballon d'Or holder fired into the back of the net to make it 3-1. Soon after, a slight shift could be felt in the Bernabeu's attitude towards Bale. He started to receive some applause as he continued to prove threatening.

It remains to be seen if Zinedine Zidane will call him up to start in Tuesday's UEFA Champions League match against Paris Saint-Germain.

Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale Getty