Real Madrid’s pursuit of Welsh footballer Gareth Bale is finally over according to reports. While details of the transfer have not been confirmed, many are speculating that Real may have paid upwards of 100 million euros ($130 million) to secure the former Tottenham play-maker’s services. Bale will now feature alongside international sensation Cristiano Ronaldo leaving most prognosticators to ask, “How many balls do they plan on playing with?”
The soccer world will be abuzz for weeks speculating about roster moves and lineup selections. Ronaldo’s an unconventional yet extremely prolific goal scorer playing on the flank; but one can’t help but wonder how Bale’s inclusion in the lineup will impact or absorb the space Ronaldo typically likes to run into. From where I sit, most of the speculation will amount to little more than wasted energy. Players play; and great players typically figure out how to play together. Egos are another story. Can these two share the spotlight?
Maybe Ronaldo can help Bale work on that ridiculous goal celebration. Making a heart in your hand? Really? That’s all you got? It’s not like you haven’t had opportunities to practice and come up with something a little less tool-ish.
Bale, 24, was one year into a four-year contract with Spurs, but he and the club were ultimately overwhelmed by Madrid’s persistence and money. The fee, if confirmed, would be about 7 million euros ($9 million) higher than what Madrid paid to acquire Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009.
“Gareth was a player we had absolutely no intention of selling as we look to build for the future,” Daniel Levy, Tottenham’s chairman, said in a statement. “Such has been the attention from Real Madrid, and so great is Gareth’s desire to join them, that we have taken the view that the player will not be sufficiently committed to our campaign in the current season. We have, therefore, with great reluctance, agreed to this sale and do so in the knowledge that we have an exceptionally strong squad.”
Bale, in a statement, thanked Spurs fans for their support but conceded that joining Madrid was something he had hoped would happen.
“I have had six very happy years at Tottenham, but it’s the right time to say goodbye,” he said. “I am not sure there is ever a good time to leave a club where I felt settled and was playing the best football of my career to date. I know many players talk of their desire to join the club of their boyhood dreams, but I can honestly say this is my dream come true.”