The latest chapter in the long running soap opera series: “The Young and The Restless” also known as: Gareth Bale’s move to Real Madrid, has the Spanish media claiming that Mr. Bale like a teenager in love, refuses to give up his intentions, not traveling with the team to play AC Monaco hence making his exit from White Hart Lane imminent. Football fans in favor of monopolizing talent and self-adulation are foaming at the mouth thinking about the arrival in Madrid of the talented Welshman. On the other hand, most fans opposing the move claim that Bale will end up watching most matches from the bench which makes no sense for a player with such a hefty price tag; and Bale’s absence will make The Spurs go backwards in its charge for the elusive Champions League berth.
However, to attain an objective view of Bale as a player and as transfer target, the right answer is found by putting his performance in context, not by being swayed from abundant speculative journalism coming from Spain and the UK.
So, if Mr. Bale is going to be the most expensive player in the world, how does his performance compare to the actual two best players in the game (Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo). Let us ignore the amount of goals scored by each player (to give Gareth a chance), and concentrate only on the amount of minutes played by each player in the last three seasons. The following chart shows our three stars average play time the last three campaigns:
Season Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Lionel Messi
Even though Gareth Bale has increased the minutes/matches played in each of the last three seasons, he plays on average 43 times per season, very far behind the amazing 62 matches per season played by Messi, and pale in comparison to the monstrous 64 matches by Bale’s “future teammate”, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Cristiano Ronaldo serves to prove the real worth of the stupendous Gareth. Since they could be playing on the same team, and occupy the same area of the pitch, the question begs: will anybody play Bale over Ronaldo? The answer of course is a resounding no. Bale gives you less, one outstanding left leg and tons of speed, is no match for the ambidextrous talent and lighting speed of Mr. Ronaldo. Furthermore, with Di Maria, Ozil and Modric also in the team from Madrid, there is no space left remaining to exploit even if the pitch was twice the normal size. It is true, Bale’s transfer would probably be followed by the departure of Modric and maybe Di Maria, still, the Ronaldo factor stands.
Concluding, Bale is an excellent player whose real value (37 to 43 million pounds, still lacks when compared to the 87 to 101 million for Cristiano Ronaldo, appropriately estimated by sportingintelligence) has been inflated through the acquisition of the overrated Neymar by Barcelona, and the never ending narcissism of Florentino Perez. If I were Bale I would eat my pride and stay with Spurs for the foreseeable future, making me a better player and Tottenham a better team, and also saving the absurd fortune Real Madrid is willing to pay for one player, just when Spain is in the middle of its worst economic recession. Unfortunately, money is made to be spent and when the White clubs from London and Madrid finish their business Gareth will be wearing a shirt with: “EL BALE” in pale green.
PD: We all know Gareth is a top player (ask Maicon for further reference) but I believe his move to Madrid will have the same fate as the Michael Owen one. Just as Neymar will end up as a forgotten player in Italy or Brazil like Robinho did.