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Ibrahimovic: Bale not worth world record fee

ESPN staff
September 12, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Bale set for Real Madrid debut


Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic claims Gareth Bale is not worth the world record fee Real Madrid paid Tottenham to secure him.

And the 31-year-old has warned Bale there will be "a lot of pressure on him" at the Bernabeu.

Bale completed his much-speculated move, reported to be in the region of £86 million, to the Spanish capital earlier this month, but has yet to play under Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti.

However, Ibrahimovic, who has played for some of Europe's biggest clubs, believes Bale will have little time to settle in La Liga, claiming Madrid fans will expect Bale to immediately deliver on his hefty price-tag.

'A debut impossible to forget'

Jonathan Woodgate scored an own goal and was sent off on his Bernabeu bow © Getty Images
  • With Gareth Bale set to make his first appearance for Real Madrid after his £86 million move from Tottenham, we look back at another player who swapped the Premier League for La Liga.
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"No footballer is worth paying that amount of money for," Ibrahimovic said. "There is a lot of pressure on him.

"I know that when Zinedine Zidane played for Madrid, the fans were whistling against him.

"If they can whistle against Zidane, for me one of the best players in history, I hope Bale has a lot of patience."

Ibrahimovic also drew comparisons between Bale's transfer and his own big move to Barcelona, where the he endured a frustrating spell under Pep Guardiola.

"I had a dream to come to Barcelona," Ibrahimovic continued. "But afterwards I am thinking that maybe you should keep your dreams, instead of making it come true.

"Bale's move is similar to my transfer to Barcelona, but what creates that situation and the fee is the media, the selling club and how desperate the buying club are to buy a big name."

And despite courting interest from Premier League clubs throughout his career, Ibrahimovic said his chance to star in England has all but certainly come to an end, now happy to play his part in PSG's conquests.

"To come to England? My time has passed," said Ibrahimovic. "I am above 30, I have a good relationship with PSG, with the team. I feel that I can bring out all my qualities at PSG. I have a big responsibility also at PSG. So in my mind, no.

"But then you never know what happens in football. When I went to Barcelona, I was living my dream.

"In my head I was there for five years. In the end I was there for only one. So every time I plan my future, I change it. So better to take one day at a time."

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