Few have, and most never will, be able match the meteoric rise experienced by Welsh international Gareth Bale. From Southampton schoolboy to Champions League winner with Real Madrid, the 25-year-old has experienced a whirlwind career thus far, with the best still yet to come.
Nominated yesterday as the only British representative on the 2014 Fifa Ballon d'Or shortlist, his achievements are renowned worldwide. Following his £85.3 million record-breaking transfer to La Liga in the summer before last, he scored 22 goals in his debut season in Spain, helping his side to a Champions League and Copa Del Rey cup double.
In spite of his excellent first season at the Bernabeu, the Daily Star are sensationally reporting that Los Blancos are prepared to sell the record-signing midfielder to Manchester United for £90 million.
According to speculation, the Welshman - repeatedly linked with the Red Devils over the last three years - is no longer seen as indispensable at the Santiago Bernabeu following the excellent performances of Isco and new signing James Rodriguez in the last seven days.
Bale has missed Madrid's last three games through injury, and while he is expected to make his comeback in the coming week, the report suggests Ancelotti may decide to stick with Spanish international starlet Isco - a fickle decision it seems, for a manager of the Italian's stature.
Nonetheless, this report is pure lunacy. Selling the Welshman just one year after his arrival would simply be nonsensical. Approaching his prime, at just 25 years of age, Madrid have no incentive or need to part ways with their star midfielder - if anything, Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo is a player more likely to make an exit.
Since his arrival in the Spanish capital, Bale has been an integral figure in Real Madrid's success. Many will remember his winning goal in Copa del Rey versus Barcelona, in which out sprinted Barca defender Marc Bartra from the halfway line before coolly converting past keeper Jose Manuel Pinto.
He also scored the deciding strike in extra-time of the Champions League final. This saw the Spanish giants crowned as European champions for the tenth time in the club's history; an even more satisfying achievement, considering this victory came at the expense of city rivals Atletico.
While Louis van Gaal will be left salivating at the prospect of adding Gareth Bale to his already-world class attacking armoury, this is a deal that has little-to-no chance of materializing.