Ronaldo, Bale, Perez, Madrid, Man U - the ego and the designer label

Gareth Bale to Real Madrid. The saga continues taking twists and turns, being played out in the press. But the real story here is one of  two ego's Florentino Perez and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Real Madrid president Perez is like a young adult, a slave to fashion, someone who must have the latest shiny new sparkling outfit, the latest designer label. Gareth Bale is that latest designer label Perez must have.

Andre Villas-Boas has dome to Bale what he did to Hulk, taken a decent player and sent his status rocketing skyward, so much so that Bale is now a commercial dream, one of the top marketing tools among footballers on the planet. He is the player everyone around the world is talking about, the player everyone wants to be associated with.

Perez yearns for another Galactico era, the days when he would go out and buy three or four superstars not just one. The days when he was the hero for bringing superstars to Madrid. He would love another stars XI, a Hollywood team. The showman in him loves it, to be associated with and sign the best, but the days of not having to pay tax or loans back in Spanish football have gone. Spanish football is having to tighten it's belt.

Perez now has to cut his cloth accordingly but he still wants the perceived kudos of the latest fashion item, the best designer labels whether he can afford them or not. A lack of money won't stop him window shopping just to be associated with a player everyone wants, hoping a little of the glamour will rub off on him.

Before being elected unopposed Perez said his number one signing this summer will be Ronaldo renewing his contract. The Madrid president reminds me of Michael Knighton, who tried to buy Man United for £20 million in 1989 when he had no money, but it gave him his moment in the limelight as his quote at the time showed: "It made everybody happy and, for 64 hours or so, I was a hero."

Perez has a constant yearning to be that hero but he's not the only one.

Cristiano Ronaldo has a massive ego and doesn't want anybody taking the limelight away from him, not Perez, not Bale. It is well known his ego wants him to be the best paid player in the world so the nonsense reports about a potential move back to Manchester United this summer are merely a negotiating tactic. A tool designed to get the wage increase he is after, pay me or I leave. Perez is not going to let a guy who scores 50 goals a season depart, there is no guarantee you can replace that. Why would Ronaldo take a step down from Real Madrid to Man United? The simple answer is he wouldn't unless he was coming to the end of his career.

If Gareth Bale arrived at Madrid he would have to share the limelight and whilst other Madrid players have followed the party line publicly he hasn't. Last week he was asked at a press conference about Bale joining: "I have my views but I am not going to share them publicly."

No wringing endorsement then, more of an I don't want him and it was also reported from their tour in the States that several players expressed their unhappiness at the cost of Bale during a club dinner with the directors all present.

On one hand Ronaldo wants to be top dog with a supporting cast he can look down and lavish praise on, Bale is a threat to that, he can't have the press all talking about someone else. He is Madrid's marketing tool, if Bale arrives he'll take over that mantle, his ego won't handle that.

On the other Perez wants a shiny new handbag and Bale is the latest designer label he can't afford. The trouble is when you obsess about something you try every way you can to get the money to buy it.

Only one ego will win, the question is which one. Spurs fans are hoping Ronaldo gets his way.



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