Football

Neymar & Gareth Bale complete greatest rivalry

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Real Madrid signing Gareth Bale and Barcelona snapping up Neymar have made the already fierce rivalry between Cristiano Ronaldo's Real Madrid and Lionel Messi's Barcelona the greatest rivalry ever.

Messi versus Ronaldo is a debate that has been had many a time and it has been captivating to see them tear La Liga apart as the two clubs fought it out for the title for the past few years.

Now Bale has moved to the Santiago Bernabeu for a world record £86million and Neymar made the switch from Santos to Camp Nou for the not insignificant sum of £50million, this fantastical football face-off has got a shot in the arm.

Bale and Neymar couldn't be more suited to their respective new sides and both fit the bill of eventually moving from understudy to master behind Messi and Ronaldo.

The Brazil superstar is all lithe finesse, guile and outrageous flair, which matches up well with Messi's incredible technique, his amazing touch around the box and constant goal threat. Concerns have been raised over whether the two can work in tandem, but there should be no problem with two such talented players.

Meanwhile, Bale's power, pace and incredible shooting are very similar to the attributes of Ronaldo, though the former Manchester United man is a lesson to the Wales international as to what rewards come from hard work.

It may change under the guidance of new managers Carlo Ancelotti and Gerardo Martino, but the underlying narrative between Barcelona and Real Madrid has been one of a difference in styles, especially after the arrival if Jose Mourinho.

Ronaldo embodied los Blancos under Mourinho: he is a streamlined, physically imposing and powerful footballer. While Lionel Messi's extraordinary talents set the tone for Barcelona: technically outstanding, intricate and blessed with improvisational brilliance.

The latest pair of superstars to be added to La Liga's only two clubs to contend for glory will slip into the narrative seamlessly and will add to the intrigue.

It may take a bit of time, but Bale and Neymar joining Ronaldo and Messi can take this rivalry to a new level reaching previously unreached heights.

It is a tantalising prospect and seeing it play out is only ever going to be immensely enjoyable.

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Topics:
La Liga
Real Madrid
Lionel Messi
Football
Barcelona

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