Gerardo Martino

Even if Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola and Tito Vilanova are no longer part of the never ending feud between Barcelona and Real Madrid, Gerardo Martino doesn’t mind throwing himself right into the boiling cauldron, taking shots at Los Blancos for the way they’ve handled themselves in the whole Gareth Bale transfer saga, which finally seems to be over.

Martino was asked a number of questions, two of them regarding Real Madrid. One of them had to do with Bale, and the other with the chances of Iker Casillas actually doing the improbable and becoming a Barcelona player. While his first comment on Bale made it seem like he’s ready to start the Psychological wars early this year, he remained quite dormant on the Casillas one.

The Bale subject?

Bale is an excellent player but the rumored fee shows a lack of respect for the world we live in.

It doesn’t matter if it’s €100 million or €90 million, the fee doesn’t make sense to anyone. When Cristiano Ronaldo was signed in 2009 for £80 million, it was expected to be a record-breaking deal, considering Ronaldo was often mentioned as the best player in the world at that time. Bale? Not even the best in the Premier League, and with only one season with more than 10 league goals, it’s hard to say he deserves to be recognized as the most expensive footballer in history, and even if it’s good for him to be signed for this much.

But Barcelona did pay €57 million for Neymar earlier this summer; another player who hasn’t done anything in Europe. But he has won the Libertadores with Santos and the Confederations Cup with Brazil. He has been a level or two above most of the competition he’s been facing in Brazil for quite some time, and his market vale and star quality right now around the globe is bigger than the Bale brand.

The Casillas subject?

I prefer to stay out of this. I just got here. If I’d been here a long time I’d know what had happened, but that is not the case.

Probably the smart thing to do. Not because it would stir up things in Madrid, but because any mention of Casillas by a Barcelona manager wouldn’t really help Victor Valdes, who has been in Casillas’ shadow for his entire career, at least when the Spanish national team is involved.

It’s not a very classy move by managers to talk about other teams and stick their nose into business that isn’t theirs, but it’s impossible not to get involved in Real Madrid when you’re the Barcelona manager, and vice versa. For now, Carlo Ancelotti hasn’t said much about his team’s big rivals, but he won’t be staying quiet for long.

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