Sept 02 - Gareth Bale has beome the first 100-million-euro footballer after signing for Spanish club Real Madrid in a world record transfer deal that will reportedly earn him 300,000 pounds a week. Ivor Bennett reports
After a summer of speculation, the deal is finally done. Gareth Bale's has signed for Spanish club Real Madrid to become the world's most expensive footballer - and the sport's first 100-million-euro player. The record move became official after he passed a final medical on Monday morning. SOUNDBITE (English) GARETH BALE, REAL MADRID, SAYING: "It's absolutely amazing to be here, it's a dream come true, and I hope i can help the team to bring success to the club and hopefully this year we can win the tenth European title." The 6-year deal will earn Bale a reported 300-thousand pounds a week - no wonder he can't stop smiling. And with sponsorship deals expected to flood in too, it won't long before he's among the sport's richest. Most of the TRANSFER money will go to Bale's former club Tottenham Hotspur, who aren't wasting time spending it. They've broken their own transfer record three times this summer in a total outlay of around 100 million pounds. As for Real Madrid, recouping the fee may not be as hard as it sounds. Within hours of the move being announced, fans were queuing outside the club's stadium, hoping for a ticket to the official unveiling. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) REAL MADRID FAN JUAN CARLOS SAYING: "He will contribute with his quality. He is a very fit player. A very good player" (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) REAL MADRID FAN FERNANDO SAYING: "It is a very important signing. He is a truly competitive player. It's this kind of support the club relies on to pay for transfers like this. The sale of replica shirts alone was enough to cover the cost of the previous record fee in 2009 - the club recouping the 94 million euros it spent on Cristiano Ronaldo in just one year. Despite Spain's economic woes deepening since then, Real Madrid's commercial revenue has only increased...topping 180 million euros last year. No surprise then the Gareth Bale shirts are already on sale. At just over 60 euros a pop, the club has to sell 1.6 million to cover their outlay. Judging by the fan's reaction so far, it won't be too much trouble.