BALTIMORE, Maryland: Tottenham's pre-season friendly in America has turned nasty with Gareth Bale launching a scathing post-match attack on Liverpool's Charlie Adam.
Bale was a victim of Adam's late tackle on Saturday, suffering a major injury scare to his left ankle before the new Premier League season has already begun.
But the Welshman later accused Adam of a pre-mediated and calculated attack and alleged he deliberately targeted him for special treatment during the goalless draw between the two English teams.
Significantly, there is also a history of ill-feeling between these two players.
Adam, who was playing for Blackpool at the time, escaped a Football Association charge after rupturing Bale's ankle ligaments and ending the Tottenham winger's season early in May 2011 following a stamp at White Hart Lane.
And with relations already strained the bad blood spilled over here as Bale turned on Adam, branding him a coward amid claims he set out to deliberately injure him.
“He's obviously come for me twice now - and he's got me twice,” said Bale.
“From what I've seen of him on pitch, I think he's a bit of a coward.
“There are pictures on the internet of what he did before when he snapped all my ankle ligaments.
“I was out for three months that time and one player told me he went out to do the same thing to me again.
“It's flattering when players try to take you out in a game but when it threatens your career, it becomes more serious that that.
“I would have understood it had it been a slightly miss-timed tackle, even though it was just a friendly.
“But the ball was 10 yards past him already and was nowhere near him when he came through my ankle.
“It's unsportsmanlike and I don't think any player should be like that.
That's what kind of person he is like - he's done it before.”
He continued: “I was surprised to see a challenge like that in a friendly.
“We're all over here to build our fitness and get a good workout and what he did was over the top, to be honest.
“I haven't ever done anything to him.
“But some people are like that and it's just wrong.”
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas, so incensed that he is considering reporting the Scottish midfielder to the FA, exchanged angry words with Adam as the ugly incident raised temperatures in the Baltimore sunshine.
Bale later claimed he received no apology from Adam following the 19th minute challenge, but says he would now turn down any offer of an olive branch to end their feud.
“He didn't say anything to me afterwards. I've had no apology,” he added.
“When someone makes a very bad tackle on you in a game you expect him to come up and apologise.
“But I've had no apology from him and I don't really want one from him to be honest.
“I'm not going to accept his apology.”
Bale, who hit the headlines following his early return from a back injury during this tour despite pulling out of Team GB's Olympics plans, fears he could now be heading back for another spell on the sidelines.
He faces a scan on his left ankle and left the M&T Bank Stadium wearing a protective boot, and the 23-year-old added: “All I want to do is play my game and play it in the right way.
“My ankle is sore - very, very sore.
“We'll have to wait and see how it goes. I'll probably have to have a scan.”
Adam refused to comment when given the chance to apologise.