Welshman Gareth Bale has made the world record books as the most expensive player after his €100 million (£85.3 million) transfer deal to Spanish club Real Madrid. Bale, 24, now has to show he is worth every penny of his 6 year contract after the club outdid their last record deal of €94 million (£80 million) for Ronaldo. However, after the most expensive player in the world was sat on the bench for his game with Wales, his state of mind is somewhat questionable at the moment.
Bale will be looking to make his mark with the Spanish side following the footsteps of many others before him. Moving from Southampton to White Hart Lane and now to Los Blancos, Bale will be the first famous Welshman in a widely respectable Spanish football team since his fellow and well known compatriot John Toshack who managed the Spanish giants and is regarded as one of the great managers. The winger will also be sixth British player to play for the Spanish club after players such as David Beckham and Michael Owen, so Bale will have to live up to expectation in order for him to make a name for himself.
Alongside many of the highly rated players, including Ronaldo and Isco, the left winger is now playing amongst the greats of European football and will have to prove himself to the team and its fans, if he wishes to get off the mark and feel loved at the club.
Ronaldo has been money well spent for the club, scoring an abundance of goals that earned him the ‘pichichi’ trophy at the end of the 2011 season, meaning Bale has a lot work cut out for him to obtain the same success. Despite the club’s lack of trophies in recent years, the Welsh winger has high hopes of winning titles, particularly the UEFA Champions League and to participate in El Clásico along the way.
However, those who follow Spanish media will have read the controversial attitude towards the exit of fellow team mate Mesut Özil to Arsenal. Bale’s arrival will be overshadowed by the loss of a great player that neither the team nor the Madridistas wanted to see leave -especially Sergio Ramos. The departure of a popular and well liked player in the dressing room and on the pitch cannot be easily replaced by another, which begs the question if it will take a long time for Bale to settle in and gain appreciation.
Bale is no Robbie Keane – he genuinely loves Real Madrid and it is a dream come true for him to wear the famous white shirt – he has not moved for money or more recognition – he has moved to play for his dream club and the one he sees as the best in the world. The issue and anger behind the loss of Ozil – especially from star man Ronaldo is selfish of course – Ozil provides him with the assists he needs to get his coveted goals – Bale will score said goals and take the spotlight away.
So, with a gap in the team to fill, not to mention having to break into an already strong squad, can Bale really make an impact on the Spanish club unlike some of his British compatriots? One thing is for sure, he would be hard pressed to have a worse debut than Jonathon Woodgate!
Will Bale cut the mustard? Comment below or tweet us @LaFootyettes.