The Welshman went from Spurs hero to Galactico in a 100 million euro deal that defined the summer transfer window.Gareth Bale had to wait until the final afternoon of the summer transfer window before he was finally able to sit in the boardroom at the Santiago Bernabeu, sign his six-year contract and become the most expensive player in history.
The Welshman had earlier been introduced to his new supporters as he described his 100 million euro move from Tottenham as a "dream come true" against the backdrop of a picture of him in a Real Madrid shirt at the age of nine.
It marked the end of a long summer for Bale and the two clubs after his representatives, Stellar Group, were given a mandate in May to broker a deal from which their cut alone was worth around 11.5 million euros.
The Spanish giant's interest in Bale was long standing - the club had first tried to sign him for more than 30 million euros in 2011 - and president Florentino Perez decided to make English football's double player of the year his top target after losing out to Barcelona in the race for Neymar.
Despite Bale's oft-stated desire to one day play in Spain, Spurs had started the summer feeling confident of keeping their star man and even expected him to sign a new contract after he scored 26 goals for the club in the 2012-13 campaign.
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"The signing of Gareth Bale will help Real Madrid to maintain their media profile, but not increase it. He will help shirt sales in the UK, but not to the extent to justify an investment of 100 million euros.
Eyebrows had been raised at White Hart Lane by stories in the Spanish press, quotes from Real legend Zinedine Zidane - a regular visitor at Spurs matches last season - and increasingly frequent appearances on Marca TV from Jonathan Barnett, the chairman of Stellar Group.
But it was only in a face-to-face meeting between Levy and Bale during the Barclays Asia Trophy in Hong Kong in July that Spurs conceded they faced a real battle to keep the forward.
Bale pleaded with the notoriously tough chairman to agree a deal with Real Madrid, fearing the 'now or never' ultimatum from the Spaniards meant it might be his final chance to complete the move and to play alongside his idol Cristiano Ronaldo.
Subsequently, Bale claimed to be carrying a series of injuries and refused to take part in Tottenham's preseason to avoid jeopardizing the deal. He trained on his own, away from the rest of the first team, and effectively went on strike at the end of August as he simply failed to turn up for training.
Levy had, by then, accepted that he would sell Bale, but only if Real Madrid paid a world record fee, telling Perez it would take 100 million pounds to sign the player.
Privately, Real Madrid was willing to pay almost 120 million euros for Bale, but the club was so exasperated by Levy's stubborn negotiating tactics - which included demands for a number of players in exchange - that they refused to pay more than 100 million euros, still more than the world record the club paid for Ronaldo in 2009.
The Old Trafford club was prepared to spend nigh on 150 million pounds to land Bale, but the former Southampton man - who cost Spurs just 14.7 million - had already decided that he would only move to Madrid.
Spurs' summer signings
From: Steaua Bucharest
That Sunday, the two clubs spent hours arguing over the exact wording of the official statement, with the English team hoping to announce the fee, or at least the fact that it was a world record transfer to appease its supporters.
Real Madrid, in the end, convinced Spurs not to disclose the value of the deal, for which the club paid around half up front, as it was wary of upsetting Ronaldo, who had already verbally agreed a new five-year contract.
There was a final sting in the tail for Tottenham as Real Madrid sold Mesut Ozil to bitter rival Arsenal in a 50 million euro deal on the final day of the transfer window, despite indicating to the White Hart Lane club that the German would not leave at any price.
Real Madrid will certainly feel that the club has got the most from its 'partnership agreement' with Tottenham, having signed Luka Modric in 2012 for around 30 million euros.
Bale, for his part, finally got to live his dream. He had already been learning Spanish for two-and-a-half years and has settled in quickly in Madrid, with his family moving out to the city, as well as his agent Josh Barnett.
There were concerns among Bale's camp that his lack of preseason would hamper his start at his new club - and that was borne out in his first few displays for Real as he looked off the pace, not least in his first Clasico defeat in Barcelona.
But he has quickly reached full fitness and hit his stride, forming a strong relationship and registering goals and assists in abundance as he looks to justify his title as the world's most expensive player.