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Bale thanks Saints for helping turn him into a world record holder
8:04pm Sunday 1st September 2013 in Sport
GARETH Bale tonight thanked Saints for their role in helping him become the world’s first 100m euro footballer.
The ongoing transfer saga regarding the Tottenham star ended with Real Madrid paying £85.3m to land the Welsh international.
That was £80.3m more than Tottenham had paid Saints to sign the then 17-year-old Bale in May 2007.
Bale said: “I have had six very happy years at Tottenham but it's the right time to say goodbye.
“We've had some special times together over the years and I've loved every minute of it.
“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.”
A Tottenham statement said: “The club can announce that it has reached agreement with Real Madrid for the transfer of Gareth Bale.
“Gareth joined from Southampton in May 2007 and during his six years with the club made 203 appearances, scoring 55 goals.
“Chairman Daniel Levy commented: ‘Gareth was a player we had absolutely no intention of selling as we look to build for the future.
“He is a player whose career we have fostered and developed and he was only a year into his new four year contract.
“Such has been the attention from Real Madrid and so great is Gareth's desire to join them, that we have taken the view that the player will not be sufficiently committed to our campaign in the current season.
“We have, therefore, with great reluctance, agreed to this sale and do so in the knowledge that we have an exceptionally strong squad to which we have added no fewer than seven top internationals.
“More importantly, we have an immense team spirit and a dressing room that is hungry for success.
“We wish Gareth all the best in the future and he shall always be welcome at the Lane’.”
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