One of the Premier League's lengthiest transfer sagas of all time finally came to an end on Sunday when Gareth Bale completed his staggering £85.2million transfer to Real Madrid.
The superstar becomes the world's most expensive player and the 2013 PFA and FWA Player of the Year has signed a contract worth upwards of £300,000 a week.
The jaw-dropping performances from Bale in recent seasons have seen the figures involved in the deal become nothing short of ludicrous and there are plenty of experts that believe his price tag is unjustifiable.
However, the Welshman has established himself as a phenomenon of the modern game and there is every reason to believe that his amazing transfer can leave all parties happy.
In Gareth Bale Real Madrid have acquired one of the most explosive footballers on the planet and the forward's mesmerising cocktail of attributes are sure to be a huge hit with the club's demanding supporters.
Like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, Bale is the player that the crowd wants to see on the ball, and he has left some of the world's best defences in chaos in recent years. He is preternaturally quick, frighteningly powerful and ferociously competitive and his left foot has become one of the most mesmeric and feared weapons in the sport.
His accomplishments are a result of his dedication to his profession and he has worked obsessively to try and become the best footballer on the planet. Indeed, one of the most exhilarating aspects of his transfer is that his potential is yet to fully flower and Spanish football fans are set to find out why the English game is so sad to see him go.
Off the field Real will be delighted to secure the headline deal of the year and the signature undoubtedly eclipses Barcelona's signing of Brazilian wonderkid Neymar. The club's hierarchy will rejoice amidst the razzle that accompanies the signing of a 'Galactico' and president Florentino Perez will be relieved to add another billboard player to the Real roster.
Real Madrid is not just the biggest club on the planet, but they are also the most entertaining - and they will be thrilled to add the latest piece to the world's most expensive jigsaw.
Bale's goals earned Tottenham an incredible 28 points in 2012/13 and they were as close as it gets to a one-man team at times. He single-handedly helped Spurs achieve their highest tally in Premier League history and they face the impossible task of filling the huge void left by their superstar.
Does that mean they were wrong to sell Gareth Bale? No. There is no way that he is currently worth more than Cristiano Ronaldo, yet Daniel Levy's bargaining has seen him eclipse even the Portuguese striker's price tag.
Tottenham and Andre Villas-Boas should welcome Real Madrid's money and use it to help the exciting evolution taking place at White Hart Lane.
The battle for North London supremacy has never been so tight and the additions of the likes of Erik Lamela, Roberto Soldado, Paulinho and Christian Eriksen have seen Spurs acquire one of the most exciting squads in the league.
In the absence of Bale, Villa-Boas must galvanise his players to take more responsibility and he will be expecting his new signings to deliver their share of match-winning performances over the course of the season.
Luckily for the manager, his partnership with Levy and Franco Baldini has seen Tottenham add real depth and quality to the team and the fans can look forward to a set of new icons as they begin their quest for Champions League football.
Perhaps the biggest winner of the Bale transfer soap opera is the player himself - who finally gets the opportunity to showcase his considerable talents on the grandest stage of them all. The superstar will be expected to deliver spectacularly under the unforgiving spotlight of the Bernabéu, but it's a challenge he is sure to relish. After all, he has made no secret of his desire to reach the very top on foreign soil.
When the player was unveiled on Monday he was faced with unimaginable media frenzy and whilst teammate Cristiano Ronaldo carried the world record price tag around with his typical arrogant flair it's impossible to envisage Bale adopting such swagger. That being said there is every reason to believe that Bale can flourish as the world's costliest player and the revered white of Real can see him confirm his status as one of the world's most celebrated stars.
He will be given all the guidance he needs as he immerses himself in the capital's language and culture but time will be of the essence and he will know that the Bale brand is there to be marketed. A few years ago one could be forgiven for thinking that the task could be too daunting but Bale has become a fantastic prospect commercially.
The forward turned to a cosmetic surgeon to get his ears pinned back, adopted a new haircut, trademarked his 'Eleven of Hearts' goal celebration and even graced the cover of Esquire magazine as he revelled in his role as the main attraction at White Hart Lane. His move from North London to Madrid and an enticing new image rights deal is sure to benefit both club and player.
The Beautiful Game
Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino described the signature of Gareth Bale as a "lack of respect for the world we live in," but football has long operated in a different universe and fans of the sport will be delighted to see the transfer record broken for a 42nd time.
The Spanish giants have taken the total cost of world record fees to an unbelievable £497million and ever since Willie Groves signed for Aston Villa for £100 in 1893 such deals have been gripping supporters of the great game.
Football needs its idols and the mind-boggling numbers involved in today's transfers help create the superstars that we go on to cherish. Real Madrid will be hoping that Bale's extraordinary transfer fee alone will help propel him to legendary status in the stands and, in turn, help the club maximise his commercial opportunities around the world.
He still has some way to go to challenge the supremacy of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in a footballing or commercial sense. But the beautiful game is box office - and its Gareth Bale's turn to take top billing.
You can get all the latest Premier League news, views, tips and transfer gossip at FootballTips.com
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