In an emotional open letter published on Twitter on Wednesday morning, the 32-year-old Wales superstar said: “I write this message to say thank you to all my team mates, past and present, my managers, the back room staff and to the fans that supported me. 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. I can now look back, reflect and say with honesty that this dream became a reality and much, much more.
“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. I also want to thank President Florentino Perez, Jose Angel Sanchez, and the board for giving me the opportunity to play for this club.
“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.”
Bale scored 106 goals in 258 appearances for Los Blancos after joining from Tottenham in an £85million transfer in 2013. He was one-third of the fearsome ‘BBC‘ attacking trident also including Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, but saw his role diminish towards the latter end of his time at the Santiago Bernabeu due to his fractious relationship with former manager Zinedine Zidane.
This saw him loaned back to Spurs for the 2020/21 campaign and the former Southampton prospect enjoyed a fruitful return to the Premier League, scoring 11 goals in 20 top-flight appearances. However, injuries have continued to plague the veteran winger and he managed just one goals and seven games in his final season with Los Blancos.
Nonetheless, Bale leaves the Spanish capital as one of Britain’s finest exports having won five Champions Leagues, three La Liga titles and the Copa del Rey, as well as a host of lesser honours.
He will now turn his attention to Wales’ Nations League clash against Poland on Wednesday night and, chiefly, their World Cup qualifier against either Ukraine or Scotland on Sunday, where there is a spot at the Qatar tournament at stake.