FFT.com's Spanish expert Tim Stannard assesses the state of play after another bonkers transfer window at Real Madrid...
Aaaaand relax. At Real Madrid it’s been a few days where everything was topsy turvy, shaken around and then plonked on a canoe to be rowed across the Arctic Ocean in the middle of winter.
So now is a fine time to calmly take stock of what on earth went on in Mordor.
The club finally got its hands on a very expensive Welshman who was more than happy to go indulge in some badge kissing, unlike the grouchy Isco, who delegated honours to his brother during his presentation.
Real also got shot of Kaká, a player who sucked their salary bank bone dry from the day he moved to the Bernabeu in 2009.
Mesut Özil somehow managed to slip away - for a fairly hefty fee, to be fair - while the club appeared to have found, lost, found, lost, found, lost, and re-found left-back Fabio Coentrao.
The overlooked news was that the first goalkeeper to slay Iker Casillas and dump the captain onto the bench, Antonio Adán, also left the club.
The arrival of Gareth Bale was certainly good news for the Welshman, who couldn’t have looked happier about the endless media pressure and hassle about to head his way.
However, it was tremendously bad for Mesut Özil, a No.10 already in a huff with the arrival of Isco, never mind the world’s most expensive footballer.
The papers have given differing reasons for and reaction to the German’s departure. Marca blames the whole affair on his father, with the paper reporting that he has been pushing for more money for his son for some time. The departure is being portrayed as a sullen strop to north London.
AS have been throwing rocks at Real Madrid’s house now for a while and lead with the apparent ire of Özil’s former team-mates. “If I made the decisions, Özil would be the last to leave,” grumbled Sergio Ramos.
The paper also reports that Cristiano Ronaldo has been telling his Portugal team-mates he is “very angry about the departure”. “He said goodbye and I thought he was joking,” added Alvaro Arbeloa.
AS has published a poll revealing that 66% of those voting felt the transfer was a bad idea. “The fans really liked the player,” wrote editor Alfredo Relaño. “And he seemed like a perfect partner for Cristiano Ronaldo. This is why the arrival of Bale leaves a bit of a blemish.”
Marca has chosen to focus on the wholesome loveliness of Bale instead, and reports on the “four women in his life,” namely his mother, sister, wife and daughter. “He has been with the same partner since he was 14,” gushes the paper approvingly.
However, what should have been a very positive time for Real Madrid, especially for Florentino Pérez, has turned a little sour over the side-effects of Bale’s arrival. While the club are getting their hands on a fine footballer indeed, there are still doubts over how the PFA Player of the Year will adapt to life in La Liga.
There were no such open questions over Özil, arguably the best assist-maker in Europe and a player who had built up big relationships with team-mates both on and off the field.
When Bale returns from international duty with Wales, he may face a few frosty looks in the changing room.