On the field, off the field; no matter where you look in Spain, you'll be sure to see FC Barcelona and Real Madrid going head-to-head about something -- or someone. It could be football, it might be politics, or maybe it's something as simple as a transfer; ever since Spanish dictator General Francisco Franco helped his favourite club secure the signing of talented Argentine forward Alfredo di Stefano, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid have extended their rivalry to the transfer market, fighting it out to secure the best and brightest footballers that the world has had to offer.
Sometimes, a perceived "line" has been crossed, that di Stefano incident comes to mind as the best example, while from a biased Barcelona perspective, the Luis Figo transfer is something of a sore subject -- but Real Madrid's fiendish plans do not always work. Earlier this summer, Real Madrid attempted to buy the loyalty of a certain Brazilian forward, only for that player to reject their advances in favour of a move to the Camp Nou. Neymar signed a five-year deal with Barcelona, much to the embarrassment of Los Blancos President, Florentino Perez.
The message from Neymar was clear -- Real Madrid currently play second-fiddle to Barcelona, and while that's the case, the very best are always going to opt for a move to Catalunya, provided that they have the luxury of a choice between La Liga's "Big Two".
Hurt by that very public rejection, Perez turned his attentions to the English Premier League, and after long, drawn-out negotiations with Tottenham Hotspur supremo, Daniel Levy, Real Madrid yesterday announced the signing of Welsh winger Gareth Bale for a world-record fee, believed to be worth in the region of £85 million.
As players, Neymar and Bale are difficult to compare. While they play in a similar position, their playing styles are vastly different -- Bale is renowned for his athleticism and power, while Neymar is famous for his close control, and superb technique. Basically, Neymar is Messi, and Bale is Ronaldo. So does it make sense for Barcelona to double up and sign "two Messi's", while Madrid sign "two Ronaldo's"?
Would Barcelona have been better served adding some physicality and athleticism to their starting XI?
Just for fun, vote for who you would have signed for the Blaugrana. Which club got the better deal? Who do you think is the better player?
More from Barca Blaugranes:
- Transfer Window Closing and Barcelona's Unavoidable Defender Issue
- FC Barcelona News: 2 September 2013; Barça Survive Valencia Scare, Sergio Busquets Picks Up Thigh Injury
- FC Barcelona Transfer Deadline Day 2013: Will Barca Make One Final Move?
- La Liga: FC Barcelona 3-2 Valencia CF: Highlights
- From The Mind of Xoel: Valencia 2-3 Barça