Rio Ferdinand believes that Gareth Bale will be under a ridiculous amount of pressure to produce after the winger sealed a move from Tottenham to Real Madrid, with the Manchester United defender claiming that it will be particularly tough with Cristiano Ronaldo starring alongside him.
Bale scored 31 goals for club and country last season and is now the most expensive player in the world after breaking Ronaldo's transfer record in his own move to Madrid.
Whilst at Tottenham Bale was the standout performer, but Ferdinand believes he faces a tough test playing alongside Ronaldo, particularly with the former United man constantly producing in front of goal and easily dealing with pressure of being at the world's biggest club.
'He's a top footballer but he's facing pressure now like he's never had before,' Ferdinand told the Daily Mail.
Ferdinand knows what it is like to deal with pressure after a big money move, having become the most expensive defender in the world when he moved to Old Trafford from Leeds United for £30m in 2002. Asked to explain the difference between his move and Bale's, the 34 year old kept it simple.
"I didn't have to get goals," he explained. "Gareth Bale will be expected to score, and he has to do it with Cristiano Ronaldo alongside him, a player who also wants to score those goals.
"Who's going to take the free-kicks? The corners? The penalties? At Tottenham he got goals from them. Take those away and he loses 9-10 goals from last season.
"If he's not taking those set-pieces he's got to get those goals from somewhere else. And if Ronaldo is getting 50 goals a season, and Bale cost more than Ronaldo, how many must Bale get to justify himself?
"This is the kind of thing he's had to think about before going there.
"People will say it's an easy decision to sign for Real, but when you start thinking about possible downsides, it takes some bravery.
"He's now with a club expected by their fans to beat Barcelona to the title. If I'd been told he was coming to Manchester United you'd think "great". But Real Madrid?
"He's not going to be able to hide. And I speak to Ronny [Ronaldo] a lot, so I know."
Bale has certainly caused a stir in Madrid and beyond since making the record-breaking move, with Mesut Ozil being sold from the side in order to help fund the deal for the Wales international.
This has left players at the club reeling and Bale will have a lot to prove in the upcoming season after Perez Florentino showed so much faith in him this summer.
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