The current football season did not start too well for Gareth Bale, who scored a very scrappy debut goal for Real Madrid - which was his only goal from his opening seven games for both club and country.
This was by no means the start that he was hoping for at Real Madrid.
However, this last month has been successful for Bale, racking up eight goals in seven matches - a tally which, of course, includes his first hat-trick for the club, showing that he can score both with and without Cristiano Ronaldo's influence on the pitch.
Bale has set up a few goals as well, getting six assists already this season and combining well with Ronaldo, with Real Madrid only three points behind leaders Barcelona.
There is no doubt that Bale can play alongside Ronaldo, but what Bale has now proven is that he is worth the substantial fee Madrid paid to acquire his services by showing that Real can win without Ronaldo.
On the other hand, if we take a look at Barcelona, with the injury to Lionel Messi, things are not looking as good as they are for Madrid. Barcelona have now lost their last two games, neither featuring Messi, leaving Barcelona looking elsewhere for goals.
Their expensive summer signing Neymar, although grabbing an assist in the 4-0 win against Granada, has not scored since Messi's injury.
In comparison to Bale's start to the season, Neymar has scored only five goals in 19 appearances - although he has claimed nine assists, whereas Bale has scored nine goals from 13 appearances and managed to grab six assists - a far more impressive record.
After a hard first few weeks settling in, Bale has recaptured his form over recent weeks, and has so far proven to be the better signing of the two clubs, showing both his sparkling individual capabilities, as well as being able to play along side Ronaldo.
Neymar needs to pick himself up and be a reliable source of goals for Barcelona. His assist record is good, but is almost matched by Bale's: Neymar: 0.5 assists per game, Bale: 0.46 assists per game.
For a player of his value, there is no other option than for him to prove his worth and become a Barcelona great, otherwise he'll never be able to match Bale's goalscoring ability.
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