Gareth Bale and Neymar have different plans; Both reflect the same problem

Finally, after months of frustration on both sides, Real Madrid appear ready to offload Gareth Bale, with the Welsh winger heading to Los Angeles FC in Major League Soccer. In other elite player news, Paris Saint-Germain appear set to keep Neymar by offering the world’s most expensive transfer a lucrative contract extension, as they did with Kylian Mbappé a while ago. not so long. For Neymar, it would be a five-year contract.

As the big break draws closer for Bale, who can soon put all the problems behind him, he and Neymar seem to be making different decisions, with one looking for a new challenge and the other staying put. Yet with discontent never far from both players, they each represent the same curious reality within today’s super clubs, which has been gaining relevance for some time: that money is virtually limitless and what it Reporting is never enough.

Together, Real and PSG spent well over 300 million euros ($317 million) on upfront fees for the players mentioned, as well as way more on salaries. In Neymar’s situation, no team paid more for a signing than PSG for the Brazilian in 2017, signing him away from Barcelona for 222 million euros ($234 million).

Despite all their goals and accolades, critical perceptions continued to surface. For Bale, they often regretted his lack of playing time and his alleged difficulties in adapting to Real. For Neymar, his brilliance failed to propel Paris Saint-Germain to an honorary first Champions League title, which earned him some criticism. And, of course, it is expected that when flush teams invest boldly, anything but the best is insufficient.

As Diario AS wrote earlier this month, a curse (Spanish) appear to have surpassed the majority of signings costing over €100m ($106m), including 12 so far. Neymar leads this small but likely growing group, followed by – that’s right, another PSG player – his attacking partner Mbappé. It can’t just be a coincidence. Big bets come with high pressure, scrutiny and no margin for error. It practically dooms a player from the start.

Especially in Bale’s case, this all raises a question. What exactly do we expect from money? If trophies are the answer, Bale – fan or not – has ticked all the boxes. Indeed, his performances have notched final victories in the Champions League and the domestic Copa del Rey, with him scoring some of Madrid’s best goals of all time. When he leaves, these will remain intact.

It’s crazy to consider that some will be relieved to see such a player go. What’s also crazy is how Real have won more trophies with him on the sidelines, a peripheral figure they can still afford to pay high wages to. Likewise, the idea that Bale has gone from a hero to a problem is bizarre.

Unlike Bale, who did for a while, Neymar didn’t become the ultimate game-changer many expected when he left Barcelona for Paris. He brought something to PSG. But given the monopoly he has over the other teams in France, not being crowned European champion has left his supreme talent somewhat hollow in the output. Betting too much on a player was a problem, and the same approach also put unnecessary pressure on him at World Cups, which didn’t work.

And yet, PSG are ready to continue to pay to keep him. It is simply because it is possible. But to what end? Next season, the 30-year-old is no more likely to take PSG to the next level than he was earlier in his career. His stock is not higher. But the financial attraction of PSG does not weaken.

All this shows how far PSG have come, both in terms of a convincing sporting project and success. So much of a fashion brand and NFT Reader as a football club, PSG are likely to clinch another Ligue 1 title next year. He will also likely pull out of another European knockout tie as he has in most recent campaigns, while spending big to stay in the conversation. The Neymar-PSG relationship is symbiotic in the way each gains something from maintaining ties, but not everything.

Bale and Neymar are expensive talents with different routes in the game. Perhaps their promise and expensive fees leave something to be desired. As one heads to Los Angeles and the other tries again in France, it’s not necessarily their puzzle to solve, but rather that of modern football.

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