Gareth Bale has claimed he won’t be overcome by the pressure of his massive price tag after being officially unveiled as a Real Madrid player in front of 20,000 fans at the Santiago Bernabeu yesterday.
Bale’s prolonged transfer from Tottenham Hotspur was finally completed on Sunday evening with contrasting reports over whether he had become the most expensive player in the history of the game.
The English media reported Bale’s transfer had broken the record Real paid for Cristiano Ronaldo four years ago at 100 million euros ($133.5 million, £86 million), whilst in Spain reports citing Real Madrid sources claimed the deal was concluded for 91 million euros, three million less than Ronaldo.
And whilst Bale refused to clarify the situation, he said he was more focused on living up to the standards he sets himself. “I wanted to come here even if it was for a penny,” he told a packed press conference.
“I don’t think any player really knows their price tag. It is something between the two clubs and not really my place to say. The pressure is just as much pressure as I put on myself. I have come here to play the best football I can and I’m going to give 100 percent and try to help the team to win things.”
There has been much conjecture as to how Ronaldo and Bale will co-exist both on and off the field. However,the Welshman reiterated his belief that it is the Portuguese who remains the better player and more senior figure at the club. “Ronaldo is the boss here, he’s the main player and the best player in the world so I want to learn off him.
“It will be a honour to play with him. I think we’ll have a great team and I hope we win a lot of trophies together.” The 24-year-old arrived in the Spanish capital on Sunday night before undergoing a medical yesterday morning, which he passed without any problems despite not having played since July due to an apparent foot injury. Bale is hoping the match practice gained in those matches will mean he will be ready to make his debut when Real travel to Villarreal on September 14.
“It’s well known I had a slight injury which took me a bit of time to get over, but I always wanted to be here in the white shirt of Madrid and hopefully I can get match time with Wales and come back fit.
“I fell like I am in good shape. I need to take it step by step but I hope to be involved in the Villarreal game.” Earlier, Bale had delighted the adoring fans by greeting them in Spanish and took to the pitch in his number 11 Real shirt for the first time to fire some balls into the crowd.