Be brave, Real Madrid: allow Bale to explode

Imagine for a second the following scenario. The hero of Kiev sold to Manchester United. Or put another way, the scorer of the most spectacular goal of just about any final in history being presented to the world in a couple of months time in someone else's shirt. With all due fanfare, of course, because what we are dealing with here is one of the best players in the world, even if some would only see it more clearly when dressed in the colours of a different club.

That goal | Gareth Bale of Real Madrid scores his team's second goal in Kiev.

Now open your eyes to reality. Real Madrid have an extraordinary footballer who is demanding to be shown more love and to be treated the same as the other great stars at the club. It is nothing to do with money.

The interest of Florentino Perez in acquiring Neymar is there for all to see. It is impossible this summer; it will not happen because PSG will not let him leave. However, because the president thinks big, he will continue to try. Consequently along with the Ronaldo situation, the position of Bale - who is not for sale - is also very simple.

Of course no one can promise him minutes on the pitch: what makes good players even better is living in a state eternally distant from their comfort zone. But Bale is of a mind that they should let him play in the nerve centre of the Madrid attack. That they should be brave; trust in him; allow him to explode. But for that to happen he needs the team to give him the ball. And he should feel respected, both in and out of the club. My feeling is that if they do this, then in 12 months time no one will be able to explain just why he was not in the starting line up for the final in Kiev.