GARETH Bale, the world’s most expensive player, was in and out of the Wales squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Macedonia and Belgium within a matter of hours.
The 24-year-old Real Madrid star, suffering a thigh injury, was included by Wales manager Chris Coleman in the hope he might be available.
But Coleman later said Bale would not play in either match and the forward later withdrew from the squad.
He suggested Bale had been mishandled by Real since he arrived from Tottenham Hotspur last month in a deal widely reported to be the world’s most expensive transfer at around STG86 million.
“I would never criticise another manager — Carlo Ancelotti is a brilliant manager — but La Liga football is a different tempo to the Premier League,” Coleman said.
“The Premier League is the fastest so maybe Carlo is thinking Gareth can handle it, he’s a super athlete.
“But in our last camp he was nowhere near fit. He had a reaction on the morning of the Macedonia game, that is why we only used him for 35 minutes against Serbia last month.”
It was the second time in two weeks Bale has been sidelined by a thigh problem as he also missed the league matches against Getafe and Elche.