Gareth Bale was presented to Real Madrid supporters today following his world record £85.3m (100m euros) transfer from Tottenham.
Bales received a tremendous reception from the more than 20,000 fans at the Bernabeu Stadium and speaking in Spanish told fans:
“It is a dream to be here in Madrid. Thank you for this welcome.”
Bale also immediately laid out an olive branch to Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo saying:
“For me Cristiano Ronaldo is the boss, the best player in the world.”
“It will be an honour to play alongside him”.
“I want to win the Champions League with Real. The biggest pressure here is to help Madrid win trophies. I want to win silverware here and help the club win the Champions League.”, he stressed.
Real fans queued up outside the Bernabeu on Monday before flooding into the stadium to greet their latest Galatico. They wore replica shirts emblazoned with the player’s name, waved scarves and chanted Bale’s name during a 10-minute welcome speech from club president Florentino Perez.
“Bale is an exceptional player,” said Perez. “The negotiations have been intense, complicated and prolonged, but finally we have achieved our aim and we are delighted to welcome him as part of our team.”
Addressing Bale directly, he added:
“We are the most demanding club in the world but we will always be by your side.
“Many of the best players in the 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.”
After a short address in Spanish and English, Bale headed off to change into his new kit. Acknowledging applause from the terraces, Bale reappeared to show off his skills on the pitch, and kicked numerous footballs into the stands.
With fans chanting his name, he kissed the badge on his shirt and lashed a left-footed shot into the net.