Will Bale bail?

Gareth BaleGareth Bale is now the most expensive footballer in the world, following his dramatic and extremely long winded transfer from Spurs to Real Madrid for a cool £85.3 million. How can any footballer be worth that much money? Is he likely to crash and burn under the pressure of expectation or will Bale make it through the minefield that awaits him and justify the enormous fee?

His first game for Real Madrid saw him scoring a goal from just inside the six yard box – a change in style from the goals that have brought him the attention of the footballing world. His usual scoring style is to hoof one in from a distance or tap it in after one of his signature charges through the defence.

The goal came just before half time during the match against Villarreal, saving what was starting to look like a forgettable start for the boy that everyone is talking about. He doesn’t appear to be match fit yet, so he hasn’t been able to run like he should be. But, he came back with his customary inner steel and gave it everything. So when Daniel Carvajal served a cross at 39 minutes, it was Bale and not Ronaldo who was in the best position and he managed to get the ball in.

He is following the example of Beckham who also just about managed to get a goal in during his Real Madrid game debut. And of course, he didn’t arrive at Real Madrid with the weight of the world on his shoulders after being named the most expensive footballer ever.

Naturally Ronaldo scored later on, making the score 2-1, just after Bale was substituted, which was just in time judging by his exhausted appearance. He hasn’t played during the season break and it definitely shows. But it can’t be taken away from him that he did what he had to do in his first game for a team that has players worth a combined total of an astonishing £324 million – a record for any team in any league in the world.

So, with four games played, Real are two points behind Barcelona, which is not at all where they want to be. The margins are tight and this two horse race looks like it will go all the way. If you want to keep tabs on Bale’s performance and bet on his success or failure, then keep up to date at http://freebets.org. Currently Real Madrid are at 4/6 to win against Galatasaray but it’s clear that the team will have to play significantly better than they have been to guarantee they will end up above Barcelona.

For most of the match, it was Villarreal who looked the strongest and even Ronaldo himself didn’t look 100% – he missed a header that should have been easy. It was also Villarreal who scored first. So, although Bale didn’t let himself or his new team down, they’re all going to need to step it up as they play through a season during which they will all be under immense pressure.