After months of speculation and negotiation, Real Madrid finally made their dream a reality. Welshman Gareth Bale was sold from Tottenham Hotspurs for a record £85 million ($132 million). Bale was introduced to thousands of Madrid fans at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium today.
While with Tottenham, 24-year-old Bale was awarded the Footballer of the Year for the previous two seasons in England. His 26 goals in 44 appearances for Spurs last year had Europe’s top clubs looking to buy in on the Bale sweepstakes. A move to Real Madrid has been rumored for months, with an official move being announced yesterday.
"We are in this temple of Real Madrid to incorporate a new man who knows very clearly what are the values of this club," Real Madrid President Florentino Perez said. "A man who has been chosen as the best player in the Premier League last season. A young footballer but with great qualities, committed to the sport and whose dream has been to be a Real Madrid player.
The acquisition of Gareth Bale brings high hopes to the Spanish club chasing their 10th European championship title. Bale expressed on Tottenham’s website that joining Real Madrid was “a dream come true.” Real Madrid’s fee for Bale broke their own world transfer fee record; Madrid’s 2009 acquisition of Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United of £80 million ($124 million) was the previous transfer fee record.
Bale signed a six year contract with Real Madrid worth approximately $13.2 million per year.