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Gareth Bale unveiled at Real Madrid as thousands pack Bernabeu (Video)

Sep 2, 2013, 10:10 AM EST

Gareth Bale of Wales poses during his presentation as a Real Madrid player at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid Reuters

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.

(MORE: Official; Gareth Bale joins Real Madrid in world record $132 million deal – Video)

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.

  1. florida727 - Sep 2, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    I’m pretty sure people in America (yeah, I’m one of them obviously) don’t understand how significant this is. Soccer just isn’t that popular here. But a transaction like this is the Super Bowl, Stanley Cup, NBA Championship, Final Four and BCS Title game all rolled into one. This is truly a WORLD event. I think I’m finally starting to get it. I think this is really pretty cool. I wish him and his new team good luck.

    • mdac1012 - Sep 2, 2013 at 11:46 AM

      I think those of us who follow soccer and have followed soccer get it. Yeah, if you tell the American sports fan who only follows the NFL or MLB and has no knowledge or point of reference for world football about this deal then its true, they won’t get it or understand why its a big deal.

      But doesn’t that really go for any sport that a person doesn’t follow? It all relative, isn’t it? Back when the Yankees acquired ARod, it was a huge deal. Best player in the world going to the most successful baseball team in the world, with the biggest contract ever. I bet though if you asked a die hard EPL fan from London, with little knowledge of American baseball he wouldn’t have understood or cared much about the significance of the deal.

    • delboy0 - Sep 3, 2013 at 7:44 PM

      To explain this to an Americans Real Madrid and Barcelona are the richest teams in the world, not because they are the most popular, but because they have the most unfair TV contract in world sport where two teams take 65% of Spanish League TV contract money. Real Madrid and Barcelona are only really big in Latin countries in Europe and South America, EPL teams are biggest and most popular teams around the globe. The Bale transfer is all about marketing. Real Madrid think buying one of the best players in the EPL will given them more brand awareness around the world because the EPL is so much more popular around the world than Spanish football. It is like if Burger King paid $140 Million to get Ronald McDonald from McDonalds.

      Big EPL teams are kinda like Angelina Jolie and Charlize Theron of football because they are globally famous in every continent. Real Madrid and Barcelona are kinda like the Kim Kardashian and Coco Austin of football who have to do outrageous things and rely on big expensive implants to attract global attention.

      I just find it hard to understand how a team in Spain can spend so much on just one player, when Spain has one of the worst economies in Europe with 30% unemployment.

  2. hildezero - Sep 2, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    @florida727,

    Speak for yourself. I’m a Mexican in America and I can tell you that soccer is a popular sport in USA. It’s been like that since a few years ago. The problem with soccer in USA, is that the American soccer is not really popular and followed here. European leagues get higher ratings than MLS and a lot of Euro snobs decide to root for European national teams instead of US Soccer. This is one of the biggest signings in soccer history, but the hype is nowhere near of you compared it to with your “bundle”. Besides, you sound like you barley started following soccer, hell… You live Florida.

  3. anarchopurplism - Sep 2, 2013 at 10:05 PM

    @hildezero

    The problem with soccer in America IS NOT lack of interest in the MLS, but in actuality……the MLS itself.

    As an American…..from America, understand that Americans want the best possible product at a reasonable price. The MLS is not soccer’s best product. World Cup is……and its popularity in the US has grown leaps & bounds in the last 15-20 years. The next one will be MORE popular because it will be played in the same hemisphere as the US, ergo not as many timezone issues.

    More access to the top tier leagues across the world is the answer to growing the game.

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