x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Real Madrid give Gareth Bale a celebrity welcome at Bernabeu

Welshman Gareth Bale officially introduced to an estimated 20,000 fans at the Bernabeu.

Gareth Bale, left, of Wales holds his new Real Madrid soccer club jersey with club president Florentino Perez at the Bernabeu on Monday. The transfer window's longest-running saga finally ended on Sunday when Tottenham Hotspur forward Gareth Bale joined Real Madrid for a world transfer record fee of 100 million euros. Paul Hanna / AP Photo
Gareth Bale, left, of Wales holds his new Real Madrid soccer club jersey with club president Florentino Perez at the Bernabeu on Monday. The transfer window's longest-running saga finally ended on Sunday when Tottenham Hotspur forward Gareth Bale joined Real Madrid for a world transfer record fee of 100 million euros. Paul Hanna / AP Photo

MADRID // Gareth Bale hailed his move to Real Madrid as a "dream come true" as he was officially introduced to an estimated 20,000 fans at the Bernabeu on Monday.

Bale's prolonged transfer process from Tottenham Hotspur was finally completed on Sunday evening, making him the most expensive player of all time at €100 million (Dh485.2m). He has already targeted winning the Uefa Champions League this season as his main goal.

"It is a dream come true for me to play for Real Madrid," Bale, 24, said in Spanish, to the delight of the local fans. "I hope to be able to help the team have success and win the 10th European Cup this year."

Bale, who passed a medical exam yesterday morning, then took to the pitch at the Bernabeu for the first time in his new kit to perform tricks and kick balls into the stands for adoring fans.

Madrid President Florentino Perez said: "Gareth, you are going to help us to make the legend of this club even greater and stronger. This is your stadium, your shirt, your badge and your fans. From today, this is your home."

Meanwhile, Brazilian midfielder Kaka was on his way out of the Bernabeu, completing a return to AC Milan on a two-year contract. According to reports, Madrid allowed Kaka, 31, to return to his former club on a free transfer after having paid €65m (Dh315.6m) to bring him to Madrid in 2009.

The Brazilian reportedly took a significant pay cut to facilitate his move, accepting an annual salary of €4m plus bonuses, or 40 per cent of his former salary.

"I'm going home", the player said before boarding a flight to Milan. "I'm very happy, the talks took a long time. I want to thank the fans and my teammates for their support."

Kaka's first spell at the Rossoneri, from 2003 to 2009, coincided with his rise to prominence, which culminated in him winning the 2007 Ballon d'Or after leading Milan to the Champions League title that year.

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