- For some reason Rio Ferdinand decided to weigh-in (at length) on the subject of Gareth Bale's transfer to Real Madrid. The veteran Manchester United and English international centre back told the Daily Mail that Bale was:
"a top footballer but he’s facing pressure now like he’s never had before. There will be a pressure on him to play, even when he’s injured. And he’ll have to score. And sometimes a goal won’t be enough to keep that crowd happy. Winning 2-0 might not be enough. The pressure is going to be something else"
Ferdinand also speculates on what the dynamics of a Bale/Ronaldo partnership could look like. An interesting read, for sure.
- Staying with United for a moment, the strange, torrid on again/off again saga that is Fabio Coentrao's Real Madrid career rumbles on as the Portuguese left-back was not loaned out to the reigning English champions, punctuating their dismal yet comedic transfer window dealings in a fashion that would've made Samuel Becket smile. Not content with just letting the world chuckle at United, Coentrao rubbed a little salt in the wound, saying to O Jogo:
"It would have been bad if I had to stay despite having the chance to move to a better club, but that didn't happen as I already am at the best club in the world."
- I honestly haven't slept much the past few days, so I had to read this a few times--but in an interview with Canal Plus Zinedine Zidane actually described the cost of Bale's transfer as "incomprehensible" while discussing the overall economic context of the recently concluded transfer window.
- Not to be outdone by Fabio Coentrao, Barcelona President Sandro Rosell did a little trolling of his own, telling TV3 that Real Madrid were still desperately seeking Neymar's signature even as the young Brazilian star was signing his Barcelona contract. Ah, I love the smell of psychology in the morning!
- Dermot Corrigan is reporting that Cristiano Ronaldo is now considered to be doubtful for the Villarreal match on Saturday. CR7 is said to be dealing with tendonitis related to the thigh muscle injury he's been trying to play through the past few weeks. Stay tuned.