Gareth Bale thanks Real Madrid as ‘dream’ nine-year spell comes to an end

Gareth Bale has thanked Real Madrid for making his football dreams come true as the Welshman’s nine-year stint at Santiago Bernabeu officially came to a close.

Bale's time in Madrid ended on Saturday as he sat on the bench during Real's Champions League final victory over Liverpool

During his time with Los Blancos, the 32-year-old became the first British player to win the Champions League on five occasions. Bale also helped his side to three La Liga titles and multiple other honours, including the Club World Cup and the UEFA Super Cup.

In a statement on his social media account, the player said: "I write this message to say thank you to all my team mates past and present, my managers, the backroom 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.

"To wear the pristine white kit, to wear the crest on my chest, to play at the Santiago Bernabeu, to win titles and 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.

"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!"

Bale moved to Real Madrid from Tottenham back in 2013 for a then world record transfer fee of £85million.

The Welshman scored over 100 goals for the Spanish champions, including three efforts in Champions League finals. His overhead kick against Liverpool in the 2018 finale proved decisive and handed Los Blancos the European crown.

However, since then, the relationship between Bale and Real's supporters has soured, with many questioning his commitment in the Spanish capital.

Bale was sent on loan to Tottenham for the 2020/21 campaign, and made just seven appearances in his final season with Real Madrid.

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