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Madrid’s new Galactico to prompt maiden Champions League defence

| 23.07.2014

When Real Madrid paid Tottenham a world record transfer fee to sign Gareth Bale they were duly rewarded with a tenth European Cup the very next season, but Los Blancos are not resting on their laurels.

In a hark back to the noughties, the Spanish behemoth’s appear to have entered into the second era of signing ‘Galacticos’, as Colombia’s World Cup star James Rodriguez’s unveiling testifies.

Hot on the lightning-quick heels of Senor Bale, the Golden Boot winner of Brazil 2014 joins Real for a miserly fee of £71m, a good £15m less than the club’s paymasters forked out for their Welsh wizard.

Although Madrid’s bottom-less pockets are enough to sicken the average football fan, as it has been proved with Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo before him, you usually get what you pay for in this game.

Bale’s capture may have spun heads for its ridiculous fee, but club president Florentino Perez will have felt it fully justified when La Decima was finally reeled in following an agonising barren stretch by Madrid standards.

Carlo Ancelotti’s charges are now priced at 4/1 to become the first team to successfully defend the cup with the oversized ears in the Champions League era with Ladbrokes.

Although this is something even Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering Barcelona collective failed to do, Rodriguez’s arrival could be the key to unlock this door.

The scary thing for the competition is that Rodriguez’s creative powers will not impinge at all on Real’s holy trinity of Bale, Ronaldo and Karim Benzema up top.

On the contrary, the Colombian will only add further potency.

A classic number 10, the prospect of Rodriguez pulling the strings behind this particular triumvirate is enough to place a few pennies on Real solving this particular anomaly in 2014/15.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.