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Bale speaks Spanish at Real Madrid unveiling

ESPN staff
September 2, 2013
Gareth Bale marks his arrival at Real Madrid by greeting 30,000 fans in Spanish

New Real Madrid signing Gareth Bale showed how he had spent his summer months by speaking in Spanish during the Bernabeu unveiling to mark his world record £86 million transfer.

The Welsh international said only a few words in Spanish as he completed his move from Tottenham in front of 30,000 fans, who were granted free access to Real's home ground to welcome their new hero.

Standing in front of a photo of himself as a 10-year-old wearing a Madrid jersey, Bale said in Spanish: "Hello, it's a dream for me to play for Real Madrid. Thank you for the great welcome. Go Madrid."

Club president Florentino Perez reminded the player of the challenges he will face at the Spanish giants.

"Our fans will demand the most from you. At Real Madrid, the challenges are permanent, even after victories."
Club president Florentino Perez

"This is the club with the greatest demands in the world," Perez said "Our fans will demand the most from you. But we will be at your side, as will our players. At Real Madrid the challenges are permanent, even after victories. Many of football's great players have been at this club. Today you are becoming one of their successors."

Perez said the deal was the fulfilment of a dream for the club's newest 'Galactico'.

"Years ago there was a boy in Wales who wore the jersey of Real Madrid," he said. "Gareth, this moment you dreamed of years ago, has now become a reality. You come to a club that demands more than any other in the world, but it will also be by your side. This is your club, your jersey, your badge, your place. From today this is your house, and your family."

Perez had alluded to the long drawn-out talks with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy, which took all summer to conclude.

"These have been intense and prolonged negotiations," he said. "But in the end we achieved it, Gareth Bale will form part of our team. We always look to add the best players in the world to our squad, but that is one of the strategies which converted Madrid, according to FIFA, as the best club of the 20th century."

Bale then walked down to the Bernabeu pitch to show off his skills in front of the photographers, before acknowledging his new club's fans by kicking a large number of white footballs into all four sides of the ground.

The only slightly sour note for Madrid and Perez were some chants from fans inside the ground against the idea of selling Mesut Ozil to Arsenal.

"Don't sell Ozil," could be heard from Madrid's supporters, who also sang songs in support of Cristiano Ronaldo and Iker Casillas.

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