“The problem is this year the player who has impressed me most is not actually playing in the Champions League. He is playing in 'the other cup', and that is Bale,” Zinedine Zidane said last season. It showed how highly the 1998 World Cup winner rates the young Welsh winger.
Consider the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi graced the Champions League, and it highlights Gareth Bale's potential to be better than the two Ballon d'Or winners.
After joining the coaching team at Bernabeu this season, Zizuo is pushing Florentino Perez to bring the most impressive player on the planet to the Spanish capital.
So what does the richest club in the world offer Bale? A fat paycheque to the order of £200,000-per-week will be a certainty. A regular place in the starting line-up boasting of Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil, Sergio Ramos and Iker Casillas would be a necessity to separate Bale from Andre Villas-Boas. Most importantly, it offers Bale the opportunity to win trophies and be the signing who won Real Madrid 'la decima'.
Where will Ancelotti play him? Will he be given the freedom and the opportunity to develop, which he enjoys under Villas-Boas at the White Hart Lane?
The answer to the second is a straight 'no'. Madrid is a huge club and the club is bigger than any single player. Bale won't be given a free role and the license to roam. But no one can take the away the opportunity to learn and improve. He would definitely have a better peer group of players to learn from.
Coming to his place in the starting 11, given the amount of attacking talent in the club Bale cannot be assured a starting berth in every game. Ancelotti has shown his ability to manage big players at PSG. So, Bale's reputation is not going to guarantee a starting berth.
Bale has to fight for with Angel Di Maria for his place as the inverted winger on right flank. Madrid's new boy Isco's versatility and ability to play as a winger further heightens the competition.
But Bale would act as the perfect counter-foil for Ronaldo. With teams doubling and tripling up on the former Manchester United player, it leaves huge space on the opposite flank. The world is aware of Bale's ability when offered space to play in. The same could happen with Ronaldo if teams cramp down Bale on the right.
This move to Madrid looks inevitable for the Cardiff-born wonderboy. But the question is when? Will he stay for another year at Tottenham and help them win some silverware? Or will he be the one who won la decima?
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