Sep 2, 2013, 10:10 AM EDT
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.
Jul 24, 2014, 9:16 PM EDT
Reds’ owner does not want a repeat of last year’s weaknesses.
Jul 24, 2014, 8:02 PM EDT
NBC Sports and Fathom Events are taking Premier League soccer to the big screen.
Jul 24, 2014, 7:10 PM EDT
Balotelli, Honda, Muntari, and more from the Rossoneri’s N.Y. training.
Jul 24, 2014, 7:04 PM EDT
Pinto will depart after failing to come to new terms with the federation.
Jul 24, 2014, 6:12 PM EDT
After appearing three times at Brazil 2014, Besic is set to add depth behind Gareth Barry and James McCarthy.
Jul 24, 2014, 5:21 PM EDT
Adu close to joining the 10th club in his 11-year career.
Jul 24, 2014, 4:08 PM EDT
After seeing time with the senior squad, 18-year-old prospect will be sidelined indefinitely.
Jul 24, 2014, 3:25 PM EDT
The Colombian striker takes a few hacks before AS Monaco’s friendly in Miami against Atletico National.
Jul 24, 2014, 2:50 PM EDT
Limited to just 16 matches last year after his big transfer from Liverpool to West Ham, Carroll is battling another ailment this season.
Jul 24, 2014, 2:09 PM EDT
The rags-to-riches defender steps away from the pitch, at least as a player, while reflecting on his career journey from North America to Europe and back.
Jul 24, 2014, 1:46 PM EDT
Herrera chats exclusively to PST: “If we are a humble team and we work hard, we will achieve our objectives and we will win trophies.”
Jul 24, 2014, 1:26 PM EDT
His dad played for El Tri, but California-born Fernando Arce Jr says his U-20 bow with the States makes him an American player “forever”
Jul 24, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT
Aston Villa, Manchester United and Manchester City all cruised, while Spurs had to find a late winner after coughing up a two-goal lead.
Jul 24, 2014, 12:47 PM EDT
What about the Premier League? Bundesliga? Serie A?
Jul 24, 2014, 12:15 PM EDT
Goran Milanovic is hoping the former American prodigy chooses to revitalize his career with FK Jagodina in the Serbian top flight.
Jul 24, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT
One of the best stories is United States men’s soccer history is about to move past the “playing career” chapter.
Jul 24, 2014, 11:47 AM EDT
How big of a deal is the Chelsea legend signing for New York City FC? It’s up there.
Jul 24, 2014, 11:14 AM EDT
Lampard: “I want to test myself, carry on challenging myself, I want to be that leader and that person on and off the pitch that can make things happen for this club.”
Jul 24, 2014, 10:51 AM EDT
The 36-year-old becomes New York City FC’s fourth player.
Jul 24, 2014, 10:25 AM EDT
The Manchester United boss proves that even Premier League training sessions sometimes echo your experiences on a youth travel team.
- EXCLUSIVE: Manchester United’s new signing Ander Herrera focused on success 2
- Serbian boss: Freddy Adu sought by Europa, UCL clubs in Serbia, Cyprus 0
- Frank Lampard delighted to sign for New York City FC, start MLS adventure 1
- Official: Frank Lampard unveiled as New York City FC’s latest signing 4
- Sporting Club announces plans for $75 million “soccer village” for US Soccer National Training Center 13
- “Embarrassed” in LA, thrilled in Manchester: Reactions to 7-0 beatdown 33