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Bale to be measured against Ronaldo and Neymar

Updated: 2013-09-02 12:00
( Agencies)

Bale to be measured against Ronaldo and Neymar

Tottenham Hotspur's Gareth Bale reacts after winning their English Premier League soccer match against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium in Stoke-on-Trent, central England in this May 12, 2013 file photo. The transfer window's longest-running saga finally ended on Sept 1, 2013 when Tottenham Hotspur forward Bale joined Real Madrid for a world transfer record fee of 100 million euros ($131.86 million). [Photo/Agencies]

MADRID - Gareth Bale will have to find his place within a star-studded Real Madrid line-up quickly because the world's most expensive player is sure to be compared constantly with his new teammate Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona's Neymar.

Bale to be measured against Ronaldo and Neymar

Tottenham Hotspur's Gareth Bale runs with the ball during their Europa League quarterfinal first leg soccer match against FC Basel at White Hart Lane in London in this April 4, 2013 file photo. [Photo/Agencies]

As if that were not enough, the name of David Beckham will also be thrown into the mix as the 24-year-old Welshman arrives 10 years after the former England captain and marketing machine left the Premier League for La Liga.

Bale lands at the Bernabeu with a hefty 100 million euro ($131.86 million) price tag and the need to impress one of the most demanding audiences in the world every time he steps out on to the pitch.

Ronaldo sets the standard and is seen to have justified his $125 million transfer fee from 2009, scoring 202 goals in 202 matches.

Despite a few run-ins with Madrid fans, no one has ever doubted Ronaldo's voracious appetite for goals and his commitment to win every single game.

Real's arch-rivals Barcelona have splashed 57 million euros to sign Brazil forward Neymar and just as Ronaldo has had to get used to constant comparisons with Lionel Messi, Bale will be expected to outperform the Catalans' new boy.

Bale, whose versatility is a mixed blessing, is likely to form a formidable front three with Ronaldo and France striker Karim Benzema.

Bale can play down either flank, centrally behind the striker, in a deeper midfield role or even at full back but new boss Carlo Ancelotti has yet to settle on a fixed formation.

He will be tussling for a place with the likes of Argentina winger Angel Di Maria, Germany playmaker Mesut Ozil, Real's exciting new attacking midfielder Isco and former Spurs team mate Luka Modric.

Bale excelled at Spurs with his surging runs into space but he will need to adapt to La Liga's slower, more tactical games, against teams who typically defend in numbers against Real.

Handling a partisan local media that regards a couple of games without a goal as a 'crisis' is another new concept Bale will need to assimilate, and the intensity of the fervor will be doubled if Neymar and Barca are overshadowing his and Real's progress.

Bale would appear to hold the upper hand in this contest as the 21-year-old Neymar has a steeper learning curve in adapting to European football, and although he is outrageously talented, there are doubts over his slight physique.

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