Real Madrid has announced the signing of Gareth Bale from Tottenham Hotspur for a record-breaking €100 million. The Wales international succeeds new team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo as the game's most expensive player after penning a six-year contract with the Liga giants.
“I would like to thank everyone at the club, the chairman, board, staff, coaches and players – and most of all the fantastic fans who I hope will understand this amazing career opportunity," Bale told Tottenham's official website.
“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.
“I am well aware that I would not be at the level I am today were it not for firstly Southampton and then Spurs standing by me during some of the tougher times and affording me the environment and support they have.
“Tottenham will always be in my heart and I’m sure that this season will be a successful one for them. I am now looking forward to the next exciting chapter in my life, playing football for Real Madrid.
Bale, who will be officially unveiled as a Madrid player at a press conference at 13:00CET on Monday, first came to prominence as a 16-year-old with Southampton before joining Tottenham in 2007.
The then full-back initially struggled at White Hart Lane but he flourished after being converted into a winger, winning the PFA Players' Player of the Year in 2010-11.
Bale collected the same prize last year, after scoring 26 goals in 44 appearances in all competitions.
His fantastic form was not enough to earn Spurs a place in the Champions League but the 24-year-old will now feature in the competition this season after finally completing his drawn-out move to Madrid.
Indeed, the deal had been expected to be completed last week but Spurs refused to sanction the transfer until replacements had been signed.
However, after signing Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen, the English outfit belatedly gave Bale's move the green light.