30 Oct 2013

Aldo insists: €105m LFC 'magician' is better than 'overpriced' Madrid misfit. Agree...?

Ex-Spurs star Gareth Bale is - as predicted - struggling to make his mark at Real Madrid, and with the La Liga giants already nine points adrift of Barcelona in the league, it's fair to say that Bale's impact at the club is, so far, negligible. Last month, Liverpool legend John Aldridge insists that Madrid massively overpaid for the Welsh attacker, and this week, he claims that Reds striker Luis Suarez is the better player of the two.

In his column for the Liverpool Echo this week, Aldo hailed Suarez's second goal against West Brom as one of the 'best I've ever seen', and insisted that the Uruguayan is a better player than Bale. He observed:

"Gareth Bale is a quality player but he’s no Suarez.

"The fact is that if Suarez hadn’t picked up that long ban last season he would have been Player of the Year and he would have won the Golden Boot.

"He [Suarez] is a magician. He's worth more than Bale and the phenomenal hat-trick against West Brom proved that"

According to Aldridge, Suarez is worth €105m (!), and in his September column for Sunday World, Aldo expressed his surprise over the money Real Madrid paid for Bale, arguing that the 23-year old is 'overpriced'. He noted:

"You have to hand it to Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy if he has got more than £90m out of the Gareth Bale deal. Okay, the lad is a good player, but why the hell do Real Madrid think he is worth that much?"

Aldo is not the only one who questions's Bale's worth. Madrid legend Zinedine Zidane - who is currently Assistant Manager at the Bernabéu - believes that Madrid's new signing has 'incredible potential', but he also questioned the transfer fee. He told Canal Plus:

"Ten years ago I was bought for €75m and I said I was not worth this. Even now I would think that a player is not worth this. It's football, unfortunately. It is incomprehensible to pay so much."

Aldo's former team-mate, Mark Lawrenson, is, however, convinced that Bale is worth the money. In a recent column for The Mirror Lawro praised the Welsh international for 'winning games on his own' and 'inspiring players around him to raise their game'. He enthused:

"People scoff at the comparison [to Ronaldo and Messi] but Bale is on an upward curve towards that kind of greatness. He is not quite at their level - yet - but...at the moment, he is an absolute match for any team. You just can't argue with that adjective 'brilliant' to describe him"

Former Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish also believes Bale is worth the money. He told The Mirror:

"The value of a player is whatever somebody is willing to pay for him. I don't think Bale is in the class of Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi yet, but he might be one day. Ronaldo is a far better player now than when he left Manchester United, and there is no reason why the same should not happen to Bale".

The reputed €100m (£85m) for Bale is grossly overpriced, and I personally don't feel he's capable of making a Messi-Ronaldo type-impact in La Liga. It's not a matter of ability, but mentality: Ronaldo and Messi are supremely confident, and totally at ease with the massive expectation continually on their shoulders.

I don't get the impression Bale would deal with it in the same way, and still be ridiculously prolific in front of goal. Ronaldo, especially, is very strong mentally, and his prodigious goalscoring record - whilst carrying the burden of being the world's most expensive player - is testament to that. Additionally, prior to his move to Madrid, Ronaldo's goalscoring was off the charts:

* 69 goals/16assists in his last two seasons
* Averaged 42.5 goals/assists per season.

Comparatively speaking, Bale is nowhere near this level:

* 37 goals/24 assists in last two seasons.
* Averages 29 goals/assists per season.

At Madrid, Ronaldo exceeded his Manchester United goalscoring exploits, but is Bale capable of doing the same? Doubtful. Bale seems like a good guy, and I hope he succeeds, but there's a strong possibility that he'll crash and burn at the Bernabéu, and given the transfer fee, Madrid fans will expect Bale to score as many goals as Ronaldo, and when that doesn't happen, they'll quickly turn on him.

I also agree that Suarez is a better player than Bale, and is probably worth more. The Uruguayan made an immediate impact when he first signed for Liverpool, and I'm sure it would've been the same if he'd signed for Madrid this summer instead of Bale.

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