Wingman Gareth Bale has confirmed his exit from Real Madrid, just days after the club won its 14th UEFA Champions League title. The Wales international affirmed the same through a social media post.
In an Instagram post, the 32-year-old confirmed his departure from Real Madrid after, ending his nine-year association with the club. Bale joined Los Blancos from Tottenham Hotspur in 2013 for a then world-record fee of 100 million euros, before quickly becoming one of the prominent pieces of a team featuring Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema. He was part of a Real Madrid squad that won three UEFA Champions League titles in a row.
Bale returned to Spurs on a season-long loan deal in 2020. By then, the Welshman’s relationship with the club hierarchy and the larger fanbase had deteriorated after fallouts with former manager Zinedine Zidane, who tried to ship him away from Santiago Bernabeu.
Nevertheless, on the balance of things, the player leaves the club as one of its modern greats with more than 250 appearances and 106 goals in almost a decade, along with three league titles and five UEFA Champions League trophies.
The Wales national team captain called the Real Madrid move a dream come true in his farewell message, despite the subdued latter years.
“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 nine years ago as a young man who wanted to realise my dream of playing for Real Madrid. 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.”he wrote.
It remains to be seen what Bale decides to do next. Rumors circled previously claiming that the winger would retire once his Real Madrid contract came to an end.
Contrarily, reports have also suggested a short-term move might be in the offing for the player, who intends to keep his fitness up until November’s FIFA World Cup, for which the Welsh Dragons are attempting to qualify.