Gareth Bale: Media hails 'GB11’ arrival
ESPN FC: Is he worth it?
The press throughout the United Kingdom and Spain commented on an astonishing journey as Gareth Bale’s drawn-out move from Tottenham to Real Madrid was made official on Sunday evening.
Months in the making, Bale confirmed the deal at the weekend, allowing the media to have their say on Bale’s incredible rise after being the subject of the latest world-record transfer.
The Guardian observed the Welshman’s career path "from spindly, alice band-wearing softie to Real Madrid", adding "Tottenham continue to be optimistic. Bale's journey has taken him closer to the stars."
"He used to be an awkward left-back that cursed his Tottenham team, now he is a phenomenon," remarked the Daily Telegraph. Certainly, Bale’s “jinx” on Spurs as he failed to win his first 24 games with the club was a topic of interest for the media on Monday but, as the Telegraph continued: "Now he’s won a similar amount for them on his own."
There was also praise for Spurs’ chairman Daniel Levy, with the Telegraph noting “a huge triumph” from “a businessman of such unbreakable resolve he could have been carved from granite.”
Meanwhile, former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp wrote and open letter to his former star in The Sun newspaper, pleading “DON’T be a shrinking violet and DON’T go changing.”
Elsewhere, in Spain, as ‘B-day’ dawned in the capital, Marca once again led the coverage.
The Madrid paper, which all along have been well informed of developments, had an extra-large image of Los Blancos’ latest ‘Galactico’ with the headline ‘I am very happy’ and Bale holding a framed photo of himself on their cover.
Marca’s photographers continued their good work right until the end, snapping Bale at Luton airport late on Sunday night, and in Madrid at 2am local time as ‘the Prince of Wales’ checked into his hotel.
The paper devoted its first 11 pages to the arrival of ‘GB11’ and even included an interview with Gwyn Morris, the PE teacher when Bale attended Whitechurch High School in Cardiff.
AS were a bit slower off the mark, with their cover mostly featuring Isco, and Bale pushed over into a column on the side.
Inside, editor Alfredo Relano considered how Madrid’s team was evolving by the day, as “Isco’s form, plus Bale’s arrival, is pushing [Mesut] Ozil and Kaka out of the club”.
Mundo Deportivo were understandably less excited by the transfer -- waiting until page 20 to say ‘Bale Oficial’. The Catalan paper also pointed out that Madrid (€91 million) and Spurs (€101 million) continue to disagree over the fee paid, and whether Bale will earn €5 million, €7 million or €10 million a year.
El Pais also have questions about the move -- with its Madrid correspondent Diego Torres wondering if Bale really counts as a ‘galactico’. He said: “His lack of international experience, with his national team and in the Champions League, leaves Bale without the ‘cache’ of his predecessors on the world’s most expensive players’ list.”