"Hola, es un sueño para mi jugar para Real Madrid, gracias por ésta gran acogida ¡Hala Madrid!"
That translates to:
"Hello, it's a dream for me to play at Real Madrid, thanks for this big welcome. Forward Madrid!"
It's the first day of Bale the Madrid player, and presumably—unless he whiled away the summer learning Spanish while nursing an injured buttock—his first day of Spanish lessons. So how did he do? I dusted off my A-Level Spanish and listened in:
Bale's words were clear enough, quite confident and drew a big cheer from the Madridistas, who admittedly were in a mood to cheer just about anything.
No great issues here, although "es un sueño para mi jugar para Real Madrid" is a little on the literal side, and perhaps not the exact way a native Spaniard would have phrased it. Did he plunder it straight from Google Translate?
Problems here. Bale sounded, for reasons I cannot quite put fingers on, more Welsh than Spanish.
For a British footballer abroad, this was pretty good. It compares favourably to David Beckham's French earlier this year, and compared to Joey Barton's efforts, it was at least actually in the language.