FC Barcelona

Neymar, Messi, Bale and Ronaldo Watch: Injuries and Contracts

FC Barcelona's president Josep Maria Bartomeu shows a paper with detaitls of the contract of Neymar at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Friday, Jan 24, 2014. Barcelona says its board of directors is calling an ''extraordinary'' meeting, fueling Spanish media reports that club president Sandro Rosell is under pressure to consider stepping down due to the lawsuit regarding Neymar's transfer. Barcelona said in a statement that the meeting will take place on Thursday afternoon, a day after a judge agreed to hear a lawsuit brought by a Barcelona club member over the cost of Neymar's signing. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manu Fernandez/Associated Press
Paul WilkesFeatured ColumnistJanuary 26, 2014

Barcelona and Real Madrid both won matches in the Copa del Rey and La Liga in the past week. Their four most notable players due to performance and expenditure had contrasting times. Here, we take a look at what news each of them made.

 

Neymar

The Brazilian is still out injured, but he has been making headlines from off the pitch. The day after Sandro Rosell resigned as president of the club, the new man at the helm, Josep Maria Bartomeu, faced the media to explain the forward's transfer in full.

It was a rare display of transparency from a top side, but it was much needed for Barcelona to progress. Neymar's father had phoned the club to say they could breach the confidentiality clauses, via AS in English.

The breakdown of the money spent was revealed as follows:

  • Transfer fee: €57.1 million
  • Neymar's salary: €44 million (€8.8 million a year for five years)
  • Marketing: €4 million euros
  • Social work with Neymar’s Foundation: €2.5 million
  • Collaboration between Santos and Barcelona: €7.9 million (relating to young players at Santos)
  • Scouting N&N: €2 million (this is for scouting work carried out by Neymar’s father over five years)

This information should mean the questions around the player's move should cease, and now he can focus on recovering back to full match fitness.

 

Gareth Bale

You will be pleased to know he isn't injured, but he did leave the field early against Granada. He isn't expected to miss any action as the substitution at half-time was just a precaution, per @RealMadridEN.

A hard challenge from Jeison Murillo earlier in the match forced Madrid to give Bale treatment for the knock. Carlo Ancelotti will be hoping tackles like this are kept at a minimum so that the Welshman can develop a run of games.

It will be interesting to see if he makes the Cop Del Rey second leg against Espanyol on Tuesday or if he will be rested for the following weekend's fixtures.

 

Cristiano Ronaldo

The newly crowned Ballon d'Or winner seems to be continuing in much the same manner as always.

His goal broke the deadlock, and it was his through ball to Marcelo that gave the Brazilian full-back the chance to square it to Karim Benzema for the team's second.

The first goal was cleverly worked as he shifted the ball between his feet, before striking it quickly into the far corner so that the defender or the goalkeeper could set himself.

Ronaldo was a constant threat throughout the match, and if it wasn't for Granada goalkeeper Roberto Fernandez, he would surely have added to his tally.

His overhead kick was a thing of beauty, whilst his free-kick crashed off the upright.

A trip to the new San Mames next weekend will be an exciting occasion for the Portuguese forward, as it's one of the few grounds in La Liga where he hasn't scored (probably because he hasn't played there yet).

 

Lionel Messi

In the week he assisted all three of Cristian Tello's goals with slide rule quarter-back passes from deep into the space between the Levante right-back and centre-half.

Against Malaga he was dropping very deep once again, looking to pick up the ball, turn and carry it up the field or find the runners who diagonally breached the opposing back four.

A number of times his rustiness showed, as he beat a player but then lost the ball. As the match continued, his timing of when to release the pass came back to him, which was perfectly illustrated in Pedro's strike.

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