"Riches are for spending but to go too far is as bad as to fall short."
Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit. Have you ever heard of a father gifting his toddler a Mercedes or a Porsche on his birthday? Just in case of showing off his curves- if there are any. No you didn’t read wrong.
Welcome to the world of Florentino Perez for whom there is only one rule in life: “Too much of anything is not excess at all.”
With the Gareth Bale transfer saga to Real Madrid seeming like a never ending chapter on a Grade nine history book, the Welshman’s £86 million world-record transfer looks to be hanging loosely on a thread.
And now former club chief Ramon Calderon deeming Perez’s actions as arrogant, it looks like the ending line of the book is nowhere in sight. Perez who revolutionised the transfer market with his Galacticos era in his first term looks like to fathom the fiscal ramifications of a world record price for the Welshman.
And with such a huge figure being splashed out for the winger, it brings with itself certain questions which simply can’t be evaded. “Is he even worth half the figure?”, “Can he succeed at an entirely different country?”, “Isn’t Florentino being ludicrous?”. For that amount of money you can even buy Alaska and save yourself a few bucks.
Even Barcelona manger Gerardo Martino has slammed Madrid terming the price tag on Bale is nothing short of disrespectful. However let’s look into it from the geometry I have termed it as the Perez angle. It’s like saying, “Hey Tata, if you can buy Neymar, we have our own version. If you go all out for a Lamborghini, I will help myself to a Porsche.”
There are no questions over Bale’s potentials and with the kind of the last two seasons the Welshman has had, you can’t question his football talent. World class on his day, extremely quick, pace to kill and a monstrous left foot.
But still, the price tag put on Bale is surely exaggerated and blown out of proportions but as long as the saga goes on, it will be Daniel Levy’s Tottenham coming out winners. The attitude of the Spurs chairman has been a sense of exuberance coupled with arm twisting business. While many clubs would have been forced to sell, Tottenham have gone on quietly to strengthen their squad before Bale inevitably leaves.
Spurs have already acquired the services of Soldado, Paulinho, Chadli and look set to snap up Argentine Star Erik Lamela from Italian side Roma. This certainly proves Tottenham are reluctant to sell before they have signed a replacement.
Also lies the question on everyone’s mind: will Bale be a huge star in Madrid, or a flash in the pan before whizzing out in smoke? Everyone remembers what happened to Michael Owen in Spain.
Paul Gascoigne’s move to Lazio wasn't anything less spectacular. Gazza, as he was ‘affectionately’ called deliberately reached training early and lay copies of “How to Learn English” on his benches of the dressing room. As former England captain David Beckham also recalls, “Language is just one part of the story, the time was to be brave”.
Moreover how will Madrid rake up the money spent on him? Selling T shirts? Oh Really? Look into the situation like this, “I go to a Nike store. Will a buy a Ronaldo jersey or help myself to the one which is printed Bale at behind.” Plus, image rights in concern, with Bale being the face of BT Sport, will his signing for Real Madrid, stop him being in the ambassador role? Broadcasting rights for La Liga belongs to BT’s rivals Sky.
Putting that aside, then there is the burden of the price tag which can simply wilt the individual under pressure. Players put under this monstrous price tag, for supporters and club faithful, are simply immune from failing.
It might be exciting for the player himself with money being splashed all out for him, being in the centre of all the media attention but there is always one odd flutter of insecurity. New country, new beginning, new scepticism, new life ahead, but will it be exciting always? Moreover, Bale will try to join an elusive pool of British players who can boast of success in an entirely foreign country.
Following Spurs closely over the last two campaigns, there have been several matches where he single handedly stood up, defended in his own half, surged forward, lashed the ball in the back of the net all in a matter of seconds. Bale will also be crystal fragile at times, one who frequently dives at will and has all the theatrics in him, but that’s what we fans have lived up to until now.
But as the old adage goes, especially for Tottenham’s fans, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” As rightly said, this new banner in White Hart Lane, might be unfurled, “You will never find a rainbow, if you look down."
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