The summer’s most protracted transfer came to an end on 1st September as Real Madrid officially announced the signing of Tottenham Hotspur’s star man.
According to the BBC, Spurs’ supremo Daniel Levy held out for a King's Ransom in the form of a world record transfer. Los Blancos duly obliged, parting with €100m (£85.3m) to secure the signature of the Premier League’s PFA player of the year and FWA young footballer of the year.
With the Welshman agreeing a six-year, £15m- (€17.5m) per-year contract, it means president Florentino Perez has essentially committed to over €200m on one player—and one who is not even the main attraction in the team.
Soon after signing his contract, Bale listened via a translator as Perez, unsurprisingly, publicly endorsed Bale’s talents and formally welcomed him to the Spanish capital, in front of 20,000 fans at the Bernabeu.
“This is your stadium, this is your shirt, these are your supporters. From today on, this is your home and that of your entire family. Welcome to your team, welcome to Real Madrid."
Given the weight of expectation, will Bale blossom or will he crumble?
The former is more likely and here are five reasons to determine why, starting with generic factors such as hunger and moving through into more specific criteria.