Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Gareth Bale gives emotional Real Madrid exit message before summer battle for former Tottenham ace

Gareth Bale walking away from the Champions League trophy

Gareth Bale has confirmed his inevitable exit from Real Madrid with a message of thanks to the club he has endured a love-hate relationship with.

Bale became the most expensive player in the history of football when Real Madrid signed him from Tottenham Hotspur in 2013. In his first season in Spain, he helped the club win the Copa Del Rey and their 10th Champions League crown.

Forming part of an attacking trident with Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo, Bale scored 22 goals in the 2013-14 campaign.

He would remain a regular for five more seasons in the Spanish capital. Along the way, he picked up several more medals.

However, concerns grew over his injury record and commitment. After falling out of favour in the 2019-20 season, he went back on loan to Tottenham in 2020-21. The Wales international then returned to Madrid, reunited with Carlo Ancelotti, for the final year of his contract.

During his final season with the club, Bale only made seven appearances, scoring once. He has not been a popular figure among their fans. Regardless, he still got a good farewell reception as he left their pitch for the final time.

Now, Bale has posted a message of thanks to Real via his Twitter account.

He said: “I write this message to say thank you to all my team mates, past and present, my managers, the back room staff and to the fans that supported me. I arrived here 9 years ago as a young man who wanted to realise my dream of playing for Real Madrid.

Where does Gareth Bale go after Real Madrid exit

Where does Gareth Bale go after Real Madrid exit

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“To wear the pristine white kit, to wear the crest on my chest, to play at the Santiago Bernabeu, to win titles and to be part of what it’s so famous for, to win the Champions League. I can now look back, reflect and say with honesty that this dream became a reality and much, much more.

Gareth Bale proud to be in Real Madrid history

“To be a part of this club’s history and to achieve what we achieved while I was a Real Madrid player, has been an incredible experience and one I will never forget. I also want to thank President Florentino Perez, Jose Angel Sanchez, and the board for giving me the opportunity to play for this club.

“Together we were able to create some moments that will live forever in the history of this club and football. It has been an honour. Thank you! HALA MADRID! Gareth Bale.”

Bale ends his Madrid career with 106 goals from 258 games. His medal collection includes three La Liga titles, one Copa Del Rey, one Supercopa De Espana, five Champions Leagues, three UEFA Super Cups and three FIFA Club World Cups.

Now, the 32-year-old will be focusing on Wales’ upcoming World Cup play-off. He will hope to help his country get to the Qatar 2022 tournament.

Once their status for the competition is confirmed, he would then have to consider his club future. Another return to Tottenham has been speculated.