Real Madrid's Welsh star Bale bids farewell to Spanish club

Real Madrid's Welsh star Bale bids farewell to Spanish club

5-time Champions League winner confirms his exit as free agent

By Can Erozden

ANKARA (AA) - Real Madrid's Welsh star Gareth Bale on Wednesday confirmed his departure from the Spanish football powerhouse in the 2022 summer as a free agent.

"I arrived here 9 years ago as a young man who wanted to realise my dream of playing for Real Madrid."

"To wear the pristine white kit, to wear the crest on my chest, to play at the Santiago Bernabeu, to win titles and to be part of what it's so famous for, to win the Champions League," Bale said in a letter he posted on Twitter.

The Welsh international stated that he was delighted and honored to play for the Whites, and it was a unique experience in his career.

"To be a part of this club's history and to achieve what we achieved while I was a Real Madrid player, has been an incredible experience and one I will never forget," he said.

In addition, Bale, 32, thanked Real Madrid President Florentino Perez, CEO Jose Angel Sanchez, and the board for giving him an opportunity to be a Real Madrid player, and his teammates and the club fans for their support.

"Together we were able to create some moments that will live forever in the history of this club and football. It has been an honour. Thank you! HALA MADRID! Gareth Bale," he further said.

In 2013, Real Madrid signed Bale from England's Tottenham Hotspur for €101 million ($133 million) transfer fee, which was a world record-breaking price at that time.

Bale scored 106 goals in 258 appearances for Real Madrid.

He had a one-season loan spell with Tottenham in 2020-21, and then returned to the Spanish club for the 2021-22 season.

This season, Bale was troubled by several injuries and coronavirus, as he played seven games to score one goal.

His contract with Real Madrid will expire on June 30.

Bale won five UEFA Champions League titles, four FIFA Club World Cup trophies, three Spanish La Liga, and three UEFA Super Cups with Real Madrid.

Separately Bale has been a longtime Wales player to amass 102 international caps and score 38 goals for his nation.

He played for the Welsh national team in the UEFA EURO 2016 and 2020.

In the 2016 European football championship, Bale led Wales to reach semifinals.

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