With more than a little bit of hubris, Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino has said that Real Madrid’s impending world-record deal for Gareth Bale shows a “lack of respect” given the current economic climate.
When asked about a prospective €100 million deal for the Tottenham player Martino said:
“Bale is an excellent player but the rumoured fee shows a lack of respect for the world we live in.”
So the Bale deal shows a “lack of respect” but the €57 million that Barcelona to sign Neyamr from Santos earlier this summer was a normal deal? Barcelona have spent around €37m net this summer in the transfer market. That is almost €30m MORE than any club in Spain.
It is not the kind of statement that Pep Guardiola or Tito Vilanova would have made, but it also shows that Martino is very much his own man and that he does not mind stoking the flames of their bitter rival.
Martino also ventured into the Iker Casillas debate saying in a Cadena SER interview:
“I don’t see any problems if he were to leave Madrid for Barcelona. At Barcelona — and anywhere else in the world — he would get the recognition he deserves. If I were Casillas, I would start thinking about leaving Madrid.”
The first El Clasico is 26 October, and the Barcelona manager has already fired the first shots.