There is no denying the ability and blockbuster appeal Gareth Bale has, or the love affair that Tottenham Hotspurs and the English Premier League has with the Welsh International.
Personally, I applaud his bravery; most British players are afraid to go abroad as they enter the prime of their careers. Many have had the opportunity, but few have actually done it. David Beckham went to Real Madrid after a 10-year spell with Manchester United but was never considered one of the top players in the world.
The expectations for Gareth Bale will be enormous. Being part of a world-record transfer fee and not even being the best player on your new team must feel strange to an extent. There is no denying Cristiano Ronaldo’s greatness or the level of production he has displayed in a Los Blancos uniform. Is it unrealistic for Real fans to expect the same level of production from Bale considering he cost the club more money than Ronaldo? Lets be honest, being in a league that boasts Lionel Messi and Ronaldo, Bale can realistically only be expected to be the third best player in La Liga. At best, he may be able to take over the spot vacated by the departure of Radamel Falcao from Athletico Madrid to Monaco. I’m sure Neymar, Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez will have something to say about that third spot.
With the top attacking players in the world plying their trade in La Liga, it will be interesting to see the impact Bale will have with the Spanish giants. There is no doubt Bale will be in a side that has more quality than he has ever taken a pitch with in the Premiership.
Bale is a wonderfully gifted player technically. With La Liga being a technically based league, it is hard to see why Bale won’t flourish. The service he will be given will be more than he could of ever dreamed of at the Bernabau.
Bale will find it hard pressed to take a penalty kick or free kick with Ronaldo in the side. It will be interesting to see how set piece situations shake out since no one can deny the exquisite technique Bale’s left foot has shown over the years.
There is no doubt that Bale is one of the best players in the world, with the ability to do it all on the pitch. The debate is whether his talent will ascend with the most successful club in European history?