At the age of 24, Cristiano Ronaldo joined Real Madrid for a world record fee of £80m, and now Real Madrid have offered £85m for Spurs winger Gareth Bale, also aged 24. Is Bale as good as Ronaldo was when he was the same age?
During the season of 2007/08, two years before Ronaldo earned his world record move from Manchester to Madrid, he had scored 42 goals in 49 appearances for the Red Devils, including 31 domestically. Already notching up over 160 matches in the Premier League, scoring 66 goals since his move from Sporting Lisbon to England, Ronaldo was feared around the world as one of the most dangerous players on the planet. Take into account his 26 goals in other competitions, every defender in world football was scared of playing against him.
In 2008/09, Ronaldo featured a further 53 times for United, scoring 26 times in all competitions, taking his goal tally to 118 for Sir Alex Ferguson's side, before Florentino Perez and Real Madrid came in with the outrageous bid for his signature.
Now lets compare Ronaldo's success in the Premier League to that of the Welsh wizard Gareth Bale.
Bale joined Tottenham as a left-back from Southampton in 2007, and failing to impress at his new club, Spurs were on the verge of selling the Welshman for a mere £3m. How times have changed.
Fast forward to 2011, Gareth Bale had been transformed into a left sided midfielder, and after many hours in the gym he was now bigger, stronger, faster and more clinical than in previous seasons, ready to compete against any defender who fancied their chances against him.
Over the 2010/11 & 2011/12 seasons Bale became a world-wide sensation with some excellent performances for Tottenham, where he featured 83 times, hitting the back of the net on 23 occasions.
Last season we saw an even better Gareth Bale, someone who looked determined to become one of the greatest players in world football. His performances out on the left proved a very tough ask for any player in the world to deal with, his left-foot was devastating teams week-in, week-out in all competitions. Bale finished the season with 21 goals in the Premier League, something seen as a huge achievement for the 24-year-old.
Over the last couple of days, reports claim that Real Madrid have offered a world record fee of £85m for his services next season, and are waiting on Spurs and Daniel Levy to negotiate.
In my opinion, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo are both two exceptional talents in world football, but at the age of 24, Ronaldo was lighting up the English game as well as the Champions League with his amazing talent and superb goals, and had been doing so for a couple of seasons. The Portuguese had scored 118 times from midfield during his career at Old Trafford. Bale has scored 38 times in all competitions for Spurs over the last two seasons, as well as many assists for his team-mates. Something seen as a very good return.
An £85m transfer would break Ronaldo's transfer record move from Manchester United, could Gareth Bale live up to such a huge transfer fee as Cristiano has successfully done since his arrival in Spain?
Bale will have to be more determined than ever if he wants to succeed at Madrid, with Ronaldo scoring 86 times in his first two seasons, the Welsh winger will have his work cut out to come anywhere close to matching such a tally.
He surely has the potential and ambition be become a Real Madrid legend, if he can go on and replicate his Spurs form in the white of Real for many seasons to come.
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