Gareth Bale’s move to Real Madrid from Tottenham was announced by the clubs on this day in 2013.
Real and Spurs said agreement had been reached for the transfer, with it understood the Wales international, aged 24 at the time, was moving for a then world-record fee of 100million euros (£85.3m).
Bale, who signed a six-year deal with the Spanish side, said in a statement on Tottenham’s official website: “I have had six very happy years at Tottenham but it’s the right time to say goodbye.
“We’ve had some special times together over the years and I’ve loved every minute of it. 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.
“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 had scored 55 goals in 203 appearances for Tottenham since joining them from Southampton in 2007, went on to enjoy great success with Real, which included helping them win four Champions League titles.
He then returned to Spurs on loan for the 2020-21 season after falling out of favour at Los Blancos under Zinedine Zidane.
Bale subsequently netted 16 times in 34 appearances for the north London outfit last term, before returning to Real as they began another spell managed by Carlo Ancelotti, the man who had been in charge when the forward originally joined the club.
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