Can Bale Live up to $132 Million Hype?

Gareth Bale Heart <3After Madrid decided to make every other player involved in a transfer in the last few years feel inadequate, the questions started to arise. With Bale now costing Madrid more than global superstar CR7, would the Welshman be able to succeed? Or, even more daunting, can he live up to the gargantuan transfer fee that Real ended up paying for him?

Luckily, Madrid have provided us with a pretty close comparison that Bale will need to get close to in order for us to believe that the $132 million was a smart piece of business. Ronaldo transferred a few years ago for a little over $120 million and Bale will have to provide a similar impact to the Portuguese star in order for Madrid to rest easy. Sadly, Ronaldo has created one of the most impressive stat-lines in Europe over the past few seasons with 199 appearances for Los Blancos, 201 goals, and 47 assists. Bale has a mountain to climb.

Considering that CR7 will be unlikely to give up his free-kick duties to the new arrival, Bale will already be losing a major contributor to his inflated price-tag. Although I do believe that Bale can provide a few more assists than Ronaldo, it seems practically impossible for the Welsh wonder to even get close to Ronaldo’s scoring numbers. Unless Bale explodes on the La Liga scene, there is little to convince me that he will ever crawl out from under this transfer. Sure, he may be impressive, but this type of money requires you to play at a level similar to the Lionel Messi’s and the CR7’s of the world…and, as previously stated, Bale is not at that level.

The other major worry I have is how Bale fits into the Madrid line-up. Ronaldo is irreplaceable and putting his mercurial talent on the bench would be the biggest mistake of Ancelotti’s career, but Bale likes to occupy the space that the Portuguese captain currently patrols. Can he succeed if he is switched onto the other wing? Perhaps…although, I really do not want Bale to become too akin to Arjen Robben and start cutting in after every attacking run to try and blast or curl a shot with his left foot. The other thought was having Bale line-up behind CR7 as a left back…but you do not spend this kind of money on a defender…for this type of money, you want goals (and lots of them).

With any other team, even for this amount of money, Bale might end up being seen as a legend and being worth every penny. Sadly, he joined the one club where a player was purchased for a similar amount of money…and that player is always considered to be the best or in the top two players on the planet. For Bale, he either needs to start scoring in buckets or hope that CR7 picks up a major injury so that the comparison of the two players will not be so easy. We here at the Center Circle wish the Welsh winger the best of luck…he’s going to need it…


About the author: Andrew McCole


If I may be so bold to condense my immense personality into two words, it would be: soccer nerd. I love everything about the beautiful game and I tend to reflect that in my writing. I suffer through Liverpool fandom and hope that they will win another title before my wife spreads my ashes at Anfield (considering I'm in my twenties, it seems somewhat likely). Although I also dabble in tennis, teaching, and coaching, most of my free-time is spent writing articles for The Center Circle! Feel free to stalk me on Google+


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