Time for Bale to prove his worth at Real Madrid
Madrid: So at last it`s over and we can all breathe a sigh of relief as the long-running saga of Gareth Bale`s transfer to Real Madrid was finally confirmed Sunday for a price of around 100 million euros.
The confirmation of the deal means an end to countless headlines maintaining that the deal would be concluded `Today`, `Tomorrow`, `Next week...` `Sometime soon`, and `When both parties reach agreement,` reports Xinhua.
It has been a long summer for journalists and fans, as well as probably for Real Madrid president, Florentino Perez, who has finally (and as always) got his man.
So now the question that has to be answered is: `Is Bale worth it?`, Madrid have, after all, probably, although not officially, paid more for the Welshman than the world record 95 million euros they splashed out on Cristiano Ronaldo.
The answer of course is `time will tell,` as only Bales performances in a Real Madrid shirt and his ability to sell those shirts with his name and number on the back will show whether such an investment, and here we should add, that his wages, which over the 5-6 years of his contract, will cost as much as the transfer fee, has been justified.
There is no doubt Bale is a fine player, a player who scored 26 goals last season and has shown a continual progression from raw left back.
He is lighting fast, can push the ball past players and beat them for pace and he knows how to score spectacular goals. Add to that the factor that he is known to be a model professional, dedicated, hard-working and a non-smoker and non-drinker and it seems perfect.
As for footballing ability, there can be no questioning his talent, the only doubt that can be raised is whether his style of play, which sees him like to take players on for pace, carry the ball or look to run into space will fit in with Real Madrid.
Barcelona are thought to have ruled out a move for Bale, not just because of the price, but also because their technical staff were doubtful he would fit into their short passing game.
While there is no doubt Bale would have slotted perfectly into the more counter-attacking style favoured by Jose Mourinho, the arrival of Carl Ancelotti has brought with it a more possession dominated football.
That places a greater emphasis on keeping the ball, and passing rather than sheer explosive pace and Bale will need to adapt. The good news is that his career to date has seen him improve and adapt year after year, so he clearly has the capacity to learn.
Bale will come over with his partner, who he met when he was still at school and young child and it seems there is no problem of him `going off the rails` as some players have done.
However, it`s not going to be a bed of roses for him, Bale is going to arrive with a lot of pressure on him after his world record fee and as such he will have to prove himself in every game.
Most English fans would probably say, Real Madrid have paid between 50-30 million euros over the odds for him. Many Spanish fans also believe Perez paid too much for him and there have been leaks that his new team-mates in the Madrid dressing room are skeptical he is worth all of that money and his high wages.