01/09/2013 15:26 BST | Updated 04/09/2013 09:03 BST

Gareth Bale Transfer: Real Madrid Star's Career In Pictures


The most expensive player in football history, Real Madrid's Gareth Bale has been in the limelight since he made his debut as a 16-year-old at Southampton.

Bale caught the eye almost instantly on the south-coast. Not just because of his age, but his free-kick prowess, and Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United soon came knocking during the 2006-07 season.

gareth bale

Gareth Bale poses during his official presentation as a new Real Madrid player at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

In January 2007, he rejected a mid-season switch to Spurs but eventually joined the north London club that summer. Despite a checkered first three years he has emerged into one of the most exciting attackers in world football and is a two-time PFA Player of the Year.

Photo galleryGareth Bale career in pictures See Gallery

Much has changed about Bale's appearance since those days with the Saints, but the Livestrong wristband is still strapped on.