Florentino Perez Says Gareth Bale May Not Have Broken Cristiano Ronaldo's Record

Christopher Atkins@@chris_elasticoContributor IOctober 15, 2013

MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 02:  Gareth Bale greets president Florentino Perez during his presentation as a new Real Madrid player at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on September 2, 2013 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Welsh star Gareth Bale may have cost Real Madrid €91 million (£78 million) this summer, just shy of the previous world record of Cristiano Ronaldo set at €94 million.

Madrid have always been guarded over the true fee of Bale, despite the English media reporting a world-record fee of €100 million (£86 million) was paid for his services.

Per FIFA.com, Madrid president Florentino Perez responded to questions from the Intereconomia television channel over whether the Real star is insured for €91 million.

He responded: "Yes, sure. It's a life insurance, against accidents. Bale is insured for the amount he cost."

While the president neither confirmed nor denied that €91 million was the cost, that was the implication of his words to the television programme—consequentially implying that Ronaldo's record remains intact.

There was much debate at the end of the summer as to what the eventual fee would be for Bale, with some at Real Madrid fearing Ronaldo would feel jilted were his record beaten by the club.

Thus far, the Portuguese forward's 12 goals in 10 games across all competitions this season has sent a real message of dominance across Europe. If he is in any way unhappy over the club's pursuit of Bale, it is certainly not translating into his performances.

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Bale, for his part, has made it clear he is delighted to be playing alongside one of his idols, telling beIn Sport, per Manu De Juan of AS: "For me, Cristiano is the best in the world. He’s the most complete player, and I’m going to train with him, play with him and learn from the best."

The Welshman's early career at the Bernabeu has been struck by injury, though, with Perez forced to speak out in the FIFA interview and deny reports he is suffering from a hernia.

MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 28:  Gareth Bale of Real Madrid CF kicks the ball during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Club Atletico de Madrid at Bernabeu on September 28, 2013 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Perez insists Bale will be ready for Saturday's fixture with Malaga at the Santiago Bernabeu, where he would make just his fourth appearance in the club's famous all-white kit.

Bale got his goalscoring tally off the mark on his debut away at Villarreal but is yet to string together a run of matches since arriving from Tottenham this summer deprived of a regular preseason.

Regardless of whether his fee was a world record, Bale has much to live up to with such an enormous valuation on his head and will know he must improve on up-and-down initial showings.

Given time to gel, though, he and Ronaldo threaten to become one of the most potent attacking duos in world football.