Gareth Bale is now a member of Real Madrid.
Bale, formerly of Totenham Hotspur of the English Premier League, signed a big contract with Madrid today.
According to USA Today, “The 24-year-old Welsh winger has dazzled audiences around the world with swerving free kicks, defense-splitting surges and mesmerizing footwork.”
The contract had been in the works for some time. It was widely acknowledged that Bale, 24, wanted to play Champions League football, which Real Madrid can offer him, but Tottenham can’t, after it finished fifth in the Premier League last season. Tottenham Hotspur signed Bale from Southampton for $15.5 million back in 2007; however, he is now regarded as one of the finest players in the world. Last season, he scored 21 goals and assisted four efforts in the 33 Premier League matches that he played. He was under contract to Totenham for three more years.
The winger will be under contract for six seasons for his new team. The actual value of the transfer deal has not yet been disclosed but it is estimated to be worth $132 million, which may or may not set a record. Spanish media indicates that it is actually “only” $120 million which is less than what it took Real Madrid to sign Cristiano Ronaldo.
The star said in a statement that “I am not sure there is ever a good time to leave a club where I felt settled and was playing the best football of my career to date. I know many players talk of their desire to join the club of their boyhood dreams, but I can honestly say, this is my dream come true.”
A Totenham official indicated that the team agreed to the deal because it was obvious Bale wanted to move on to greener pastures: “Such has been the attention from Real Madrid and so great is Gareth’s desire to join them, that we have taken the view that the player will not be sufficiently committed to our campaign in the current season. We have, therefore, with great reluctance, agreed to this sale and do so in the knowledge that we have an exceptionally strong squad to which we have added no fewer than seven top internationals.”