Real Madrid’s charismatic president, Florentino Perez is a man who over the course of his life has got used to the notion of getting himself anything that takes his fancy, no matter how costly and unrealistic his target might be.
He has a penchant for extravagant indulgences and likes the idea of going down in the history books of Real Madrid as the president who always provided the Bernabeu faithful with the best of the best.
He is a modern day Roman emperor who wants his subjects [read fans] to adore him for bringing them the mighty gladiators [read Galacticos]. Perez revels in the idea of making the Bernabeu witness the extraordinary produced in cohesion by the stars among the stars under one roof and compeling them to leap onto their feet in admiration.
For him, nothing is incomprehensible, nothing is beyond one’s reaches, strongly believing in the logo of his club’s kit suppliers, Addidas : “Nothing is impossible”
But, for once, he was forced to taste defeat in the hands of none other than Madrid’s fiercest foes, Barcelona, in the race to the signature of Brazilian golden boy Neymar.
The 21-year-old Brazilian was supposed to be Perez’s No.1 marquee gift to the club’s supporters this summer. But the former’s yearning to work with Argentinian superstar Lionel Messi meant the civil engineer turned businessman had to swallow the bitter pill of rejection and since then Perez has been on a mad scramble chasing the signature of Tottenham star Gareth Bale.
Perez has made the signing of Bale an absolute priority and has been on a single-minded approach to land the Welsh star’s signature, willing to pay over the odds to get his man.
The 66-year-old is determined to present Bale to the Bernabeu this summer and is leaving no stones unturned in his efforts to realize the signing. He is even prepared to break the €100 million mark to bring the Welshman to the Spanish capital, which would be a new world record transfer fee, easily surpassing the €92 million he had paid for Ronaldo in the summer of 2009.
Madrid has always been the home of the world’s best players ever since Perez first occupied the seat of the club’s presidency and the addition of Bale would be a continuation of that trend, as he has been one of the best performers in the Premier League for the last couple of years.
But the question that begs a definite answer is where will Gareth Bale fit-in in the present line-up at Madrid?
Madrid already boasts of four world-class players in Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil, Angel di Maria and Ricardo Kaka for two positions in new manaer Carlo Ancelotti’s preferred 4-3-2-1 formation. Among them, Ronaldo is a sure starter in almost each and every game that Madrid will play next season, as he rarely gets injured and is not very receptive of the idea of sitting out a match, even for health reasons.
That leaves Ancelotti with the task of juggling three players for one position. Ozil has been brilliant for Madrid since he moved to La Liga from Werder Bremen in the summer of 2010, following his breakout performances in the World Cup.
Di Maria has been a regular steady performer for the Los Blancos since former manager Jose Mourinho brought him in 2010 and has pledged to fight for his place in the first team line-up next season.
Kaka, though having not lived up to the hype with which he was bought back in 2009, had enjoyed his best years while he and Ancelotti were together in A.C. Milan and is set to feature more prominently under the Italian coach next season.
Thrusting Bale into this mix of players would no doubt increase the level of competition in the squad a further notch up and spur the players on to perform better. But one does indeed need a scratch of his head trying to figure out how Ancelotti will keep all of them happy next season.
It seems inevitable that one or a couple of them might have to be content with being on the bench for a large chunck of next season, in what is a very important year for every international with the World Cup coming up next year.
And though the prospect of having two very strong, fast players possessing a deadly accuracy of finding the back of the net, tearing down the wings an enticing one on paper, rarely does one actually manage to realize such a combination working seamlessly on the field.
Bringing Bale to the Bernabeu might appease Mr. Florentino Perez’s ego and the fans’ hunger for another marquee arrival, but he brings more problems than solutions to Madrid’s on-field compatibility, which is the most important aspect of a title-winning side.
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