02 September 2013 03:45 | By Thomas Oakey
Gareth Bale: Career so far

The rise and rise of one of the great players of the modern era

Gaerth Bale gestures in a pre-season fixture for Tottenham, July 16, 2013 (© Rex Features)
  • Gaerth Bale gestures in a pre-season fixture for Tottenham, July 16, 2013 (© Rex Features)
  • Gareth Bale in FA Cup action for Southampton, January 28, 2007 (© Phil Noble - Reuters)
  • Gareth Bale curls in a free kick for Wales against Slovakia, October 7, 2006 (© DARREN STAPLES - Newscom - RTR)
  • Gareth Bale celebrates with Kenwyne Jones, January 28, 2007 (© Phil Noble - Reuters)
  • Gareth Bale and Tom Huddlestone (© Man Utd via Getty Images)
  • Gareth Bale leaves the pitch after being sent off against Stoke City, October 19, 2008 (© Glyn Thomas - Rex Features)
  • Bale in action for Spurs against Fulham, 26 January 2010 (© Getty Images)
  • Gareth Bale scores against Chelsea in the Premier League, (© Graham Chadwick-Daily Mail-Rex Features)
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From promising Southampton youngster, to one of European football's biggest box office draws - with a stint as the Premier League's unluckiest player in between - the rise of Gareth Bale has been one of the most remarkable in recent football history.

The wing wizard's prolonged transfer from Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid was finally completed for an unconfirmed world record fee on Sunday after the Spanish club officially announced the move.

"The player will be tied to the club for the next six seasons," confirmed a statement on the club's website.

Widespread reports in England have suggested that the move will make Bale the world's most expensive player with Real set to pay 101 million euros ($133.5 million, £86 million) for his services.

However, media in Spain insisted on Sunday that Real will only pay 91 million euros, three million less than Los Blancos paid for Cristiano Ronaldo back in 2009.

Bale will be presented to the media and the club's fans on Monday afternoon after undergoing a medical.

"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 said in a statement on the Spurs 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.

"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."

We look back at the Welshman's career so far.


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