Gareth Bale thanked Real Madrid for helping him “create moments that will live forever” in an open letter confirming that he was leaving the club after nine years in Spain.
Bale, 32, who has played in just seven Madrid matches, four of which he has played in the last season interrupted by an injury, expired this summer and leaves after winning five Champions League and three LaLiga titles at the Bernabeu.
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The Welsh national team is in international service this month for its upcoming matches, including the final of the World Cup playoff qualifiers against Scotland or Ukraine this weekend.
Sources close to Bale told ESPN that no decisions would be made about his future plans until the games were played.
“I am writing this report to thank all my teammates, past and present, my managers, the backstage staff and the fans who have supported me,” Bale wrote in a letter posted on social media on Wednesday. “I came here nine years ago as a young man who wanted to fulfill his dream of playing for Real Madrid.
“Wear an intact white suit, wear a coat of arms on your chest, play the Santiago Bernabeu, win titles and be part of what he is so famous for, winning the Champions League. and honestly say that this dream has come true and much, much more.
I was honored. Thank you! #HALA MADRID @RealMadrid pic.twitter.com/T7FL2LNRrD
– Gareth Bale (@ GarethBale11) June 1, 2022
“Being part of the history of this club and achieving what we achieved when I was a Real Madrid player was an incredible experience I will never forget. I also want to thank President Florentina Perez, [managing director] Jose Angel Sanchez and the management for giving me the opportunity to play for this club.
“Together we were able to create a few moments that will live forever in the history of this club and football. I was honored. Thank you! HALL MADRID!”
A statement by Real Madrid stated: “Real Madrid would like to express its sincere gratitude and affection to Gareth Bale, a player who will forever be part of the club’s legacy.
“He experienced one of the most famous epochs in our history. Real Madrid is and always will be his home and we would like to wish him and his whole family good luck in the future.”
Bale transferred to the Spanish giant from Tottenham for a fee of around 100 million euros in 2013.
Initially a key member of the team, in his first season he scored in the final of the Champions League and the Copa del Rey and formed an impressive top three alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema.
Bale scored twice in the Champions League final in 2018 against Liverpool, including a spectacular kick overhead, but at the time, his injury problems were more frequent and his relationship with then-manager Zinedin Zidan began to suffer.
In 2019, Bale was on the verge of joining China’s Jiangsu Suning Super League, but the move failed in recent stages after his agent Jonathan Barnett said Madrid had changed his mind.
Fans at the Bernabeu whistled after he was photographed with a banner reading, “Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order,” during celebrations with international teammates in November 2019.
Bale spent the 2020-21 season back in the Spurs, scoring 11 goals in the Premier League before returning to a limited role back in Madrid under the guidance of returning coach Carl Ancelotti, who left him on the bench during last weekend’s Champions League final in Paris.
Meanwhile, Madrid also confirmed Isc’s departure after nine years at the club.
“Real Madrid would like to express its gratitude and affection to Isco, in which he defended our badge and managed to become a legend of our club,” the club said in a statement.
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