Real Madrid has confirmed the signing of Gareth Bale from Tottenham Hotspur for a reported 100 million euros.
The Wales international succeeds new teammate Cristiano Ronaldo as the game's most expensive player after penning a six-year contract with the Liga giant.
"I am not sure there is ever a good time to leave a club where I felt settled and was playing the best football of my career to date," Bale said in a statement published on the Tottenham website. "I know many players talk of their desire to join the club of their boyhood dreams, but I can honestly say, this is my dream come true."
Bale first came to prominence as a 16-year-old with Southampton before joining Tottenham in 2007.
The then fullback initially struggled at White Hart Lane but he flourished after being converted into a winger, winning the PFA Players' Player of the Year in 2010-11.
"I am well aware that I would not be at the level I am today were it not for firstly Southampton and then Spurs standing by me during some of the tougher times and affording me the environment and support they have," Bale said. "Tottenham will always be in my heart and I'm sure that this season will be a successful one for them. I am now looking forward to the next exciting chapter in my life, playing football for Real Madrid."
Bale collected the same prize last year, after scoring 26 goals in 44 appearances in all competitions.
His fantastic form was not enough to earn Spurs a place in the Champions League but the 24-year-old will now feature in the competition this season after finally completing his drawn-out move to Madrid.