Gareth Bale and Neymar - Real Madrid and Barcelona's new stars. A combined sum of £135m was paid for them and they are expected to do big things.

Currently the big duel is between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi and it will be for the next three-five years, which means that Bale and Neymar will have to wait before they get the spotlight only for them.

Until then, they will have to prove their qualities at the highest level and become the leaders of the Spanish giants. So let's make a comparison between them and try to see who is better at present.

Neymar

The young Brazilian made his professional debut on 7 March 2009 at the age of 17 for Santos and since then has become one of the hottest prospects in world football. 

In his first season he made 48 appearances and scored 14 goals. The following year he netted the impressive 42 goals in 60 games and was the subject of two bids from West Ham United and Chelsea, worth £12m and £20m respectively. Both of them were rejected and a few days later Neymar insisted: "I'm focused only on Santos."

In 2011, Real Madrid tried to sign Neymar to a pre-contract agreement, but Santos denied such an agreement was in place and the deal never went through. In the same year, the samba star scored 24 times for Santos in 47 games.

He won the FIFA Puskás Award for his sensational solo goal against Flamengo. He also won the South American Football of the Year award, but Santos lost the Club World Cup against Barcelona. 

2012 was his best year in terms of goals. Neymar netted 43 in 47 games for Santos and retained the South American Football of the Year award.

On 27 May 2013 Neymar made a life-changing decision and joined Barcelona. The Catalans paid Santos the whopping £49m. He was revealed by Barcelona on 3 June 2013.

He showed what he is capable of at the Confederations Cup with Brazil, where he scored four goals and won the Golden Ball for the best player of the tournament.

Neymar plays as a forward, winger and occasionally as an attacking midfielder. He is known for his exceptional dribbling skills, creativity, pace and clinical finishing.

Neymar is a pure talent and he is destined for big things. Yet so young, he's achieved a lot, but will have to prove with Barcelona to become one of the greatest of the game...?

Gareth Bale

The Welshman made his professional debut with Southampton on 17 April 2006. He started his career playing as a left-back.

2006/07 was his first full competitive season. He scored five goals in 43 appearances and made some impressive games, which led to Bale winning the Football League Young Player of the Year on 4 March 2007. On 25 May 2007, Gareth signed for Tottenham for £7m.

Bale's first two seasons at the White Hart Line were not a success. For most of the time he was either a bench-warmer because of mediocre performances or was injured. In January 2010, Harry Redknapp moved Bale to the left-wing - this was a masterstroke.

Bale helped Tottenham to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in the same season. In season 2010/11 Bale set the world alight in the Champions League. His best performances were against Inter, where he tore Maicon, one of the best full-backs in the world, to pieces.

Bale scored his first senior hat-trick against Inter and was Tottenham's driving force throughout the season. He finished the season with 11 goals in all competitions. On 17 April 2011 Bale won the PFA Player of the Year award. He continued with his fine form next season with scoring 12 goals in 42 games.

2012/13 was Bale's season. He scored 26 goals and provided seven assists in 44 games thanks to Andre Villas-Boas.

AVB gave Gareth the opportunity to play more freely in the attack. He was playing as a left-wing, right-wing, attacking midfielder, secondary striker and at some moments as a central forward.

Bale adapted very quickly to his new role and become Tottenham's talisman. He also scored some fantastic free-kicks, which earned Spurs some crucial victories. 

Speculations were surrounding Bale throughout the whole summer. Finally on 1 September he signed for Real Madrid for £85m and become the latest Galactico.

Like Neymar, Bale is still unproven on the biggest stage and both of them will have to justify their massive transfer fees, especially Bale. As for comparisons, Bale and Neymar are like Messi and Cristiano. They are completely different players. Bale is much like CR7, except for the skills the Portuguese possesses.

On the other hand, Neymar has an amazing technique, but prefers more central role like Messi. In Barcelona he will most often play on the left wing and throughout the match he will swap places with Leo.

At Real Madrid, Bale will probably not have that free role, which excelled his game and now that Carlo Ancelotti is the manager, Real won't score so many goals and will usually win with 1-0 or 2-1.

Neymar has more years to fulfil his potential and for now it looks like he will be better than Bale. Yet we still haven't seen Bale in action for Real, but Neymar might have the edge in the next big duel.

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Topics:
Gareth Bale
Real Madrid
Football
Neymar
Barcelona