On Monday morning in Madrid the world’s most expensive player was paraded to his new adoring fans.
Hola, Gareth Bale.
Following confirmation of his $132 million move from Tottenham on Sunday night, Bale arrived in Spain ahead of the huge rigmarole of becoming their new marquee signing.
A massive crowd had been gathering overnight and as Bale arrived chants of “Baaaaaalllee, Baaaaaalllee” rung out around the iconic Santiago Bernabeu.
The 24-year-old Welshman looked in awe at the sheer number of people who turned out to celebrate his signing and he spoke briefly in Spanish to address the crowd.
“I just want to try a few words in Spanish. ‘Hello. It is a dream to be here in Madrid. Thank you for this welcome. Hala Madrid!'”
After being shown having his medical (and passing it) in a hospital in Madrid, Bale was addressed by Club President Florentino Perez and Director Emilio Butragueno at the Bernabeu, with Perez welcoming Bale and also giving him a taster of what he can expect.
We are the most demanding club in the world but we will always be by your side. Our followers and fans are our strength and our driving force. They expect your best football and expect you to know what the shirt means. Many of the best players in the best world have graced this pitch and you are now following in their footsteps. This is your stadium, this is your shirt, these are your supporters. From today on, this is your home and that of your entire family. Welcome to your team, welcome to Real Madrid.
Bale then changed form his suave black suit and tie into a full Real Madrid kit, after being handed the number 11 jersey, and took to the pitch at the iconic venue. He kicked a few balls into the crowd, juggled for a while and then waved and signed autographs for the thousands of fans who showed up.
It was a colossal day for the young attacker as his arrival on the world’s biggest stage is now official. Watch it all unfold below via Real Madrid’s YouTube channel who broadcast everything to the world.