After an entire summer of hemming and hawing, negotiating, rumours leaked to the press, player strikes, gigantic transfer figures being thrown around, Tottenham adding countless players to replace him and Real Madrid supporters trying to figure out how the team would incorporate him, Gareth Bale has finally been sold from Spurs to Los Blancos.
Rob Harris of The Associated Press sends along confirmation from Tottenham manager Andres Villas-Boas:
Mirror Football adds:
The club then officially confirmed Bale's sale on Twitter:
Ladies and gentleman, say hello to the newest Galactico, as unveiled by Real Madrid:
OFFICIAL: Gareth Bale signs for Real Madrid for the next 6 seasons. #halamadrid— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) September 1, 2013
Also be sure to welcome the most expensive player in the history of the sport. From Joe Prince-Wright of NBC Sports:
Of course, there are conflicting reports about the actual fee, as Real Madrid may be trying to soothe the ego of one Cristiano Ronaldo. From Guillem Balague of Sky Sports:
We knew Bale's heart was in Madrid for most of the summer. Now, as Adidas UK tweets, it's officially there:
Bale made the following comments, via Tottenham's website:
I would like to thank everyone at the Club, the Chairman, Board, staff, coaches and players – and most of all the fantastic fans who I hope will understand this amazing career opportunity.
I am not sure there is ever a good time to leave a club where I felt settled and was playing the best football of my career to date. I know many players talk of their desire to join the club of their boyhood dreams, but I can honestly say, this is my dream come true.
I am well aware that I would not be at the level I am today were it not for firstly Southampton and then Spurs standing by me during some of the tougher times and affording me the environment and support they have.
Tottenham will always be in my heart and I’m sure that this season will be a successful one for them. I am now looking forward to the next exciting chapter in my life, playing football for Real Madrid.
Classy remarks, even if they won't necessarily justify his departure in the minds of Tottenham supporters.
Before everyone goes crazy debating whether Bale's surely huge transfer fee was worth it, or if Tottenham could be better without him now, let's take a moment with WhoScored.com to remember just how good he was for Spurs last season:
And Squawka Football has another intriguing stat related to Bale's value for Tottenham a season ago:
OK, now we can all lament this incredible price tag. Sam Tighe of Bleacher Report echoes the sentiments of many when breaking down this extraordinary piece of business:
Still, this is an amazing opportunity for Bale, as Tom Williams of AFP notes:
And former player Gary Lineker wishes nothing but the best for Bale before offering him some key advice:
In truth, after Tottenham went on a pretty epic signing spree this summer, Bale's sale basically became inevitable, as Paolo Bandini of The Guardian noted:
Meanwhile, Matteo Bonetti of beIN Sport says what we're pretty much all feeling:
That sums it up perfectly, doesn't it?
Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets are giddy that this saga has finally come to a close.