Bumper Madrid deal banks Bale over €115m

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE -

Gareth Bale’s new six-year Real Madrid con­tract will see the Welsh­man re­port­edly rake in well in ex­cess of 115 mil­lion eu­ros ($126 mil­lion) as the Span­ish gi­ants bet on Bale to lead an­other glo­ri­ous era at the San­ti­ago Bern­abeu.

Bale, who has won two Cham­pi­ons League ti­tles in three years in Spain, so­lid­i­fies his po­si­tion as one of the high­est earn­ers in foot­ball along with the likes of Real team-mate Cris­tiano Ron­aldo and Barcelona duo Lionel Messi and Ney­mar.

The fly­ing winger, 27, is set to take home as much as £350,000 a week af­ter tax, ac­cord­ing to Bri­tish me­dia, though fig­ures vary wildly. “That’s for me to know and no one else to find out, sorry,” said a smil­ing Bale when quizzed on his new salary.

How­ever, Ron­aldo looks set to re­tain his sta­tus as top dog of the pay pack­ets at the Bern­abeu with the Por­tuguese ex­pected to be­come the lat­est Madrid star to ex­tend his deal in the com­ing weeks. Real have al­ready handed lu­cra­tive re­newals to Luka Mo­dric, Toni Kroos and Lucas Vazquez to hold onto their key men with a one-year trans­fer ban im­posed by FIFA to come over the next two trans­fer win­dows. Madrid and arch ri­vals Barcelona have em­barked on a fleet of re­newals to ward off in­ter­est from the cash-rich Premier League, backed by a £5 bil­lion ($6 bil­lion) do­mes­tic TV deal.

Bale joined Real for a then-world record fee of just over 100 mil­lion eu­ros from Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur in 2013.

That fig­ure has since been eclipsed by Paul Pogba’s 105-mil­lion-euro move to Manch­ester United in Au­gust. “It’s Real Madrid, it is the big­gest club in the world,” Bale added, re­ject­ing any no­tion he could re­turn to Eng­land, where he was crowned Premier League Player of the Year in for the 2010/2011 and 2012/2013 sea­sons.

“When an op­por­tu­nity to play for Real Madrid comes up, you don’t turn it down.” Madrid have topped the Deloitte Foot­ball Money League for the past 11 years as the high­est earn­ing club, but were over­taken last sea­son by Barca. Barca pres­i­dent Josep Maria Bar­tomeu con­firmed at the club’s an­nual gen­eral meet­ing on Satur­day that con­tract ne­go­ti­a­tions with Luis Suarez and Messi are also un­der way af­ter Ney­mar re­cently ex­tended his deal to 2021.

BALE THE FU­TURE FOR REAL

De­spite the de­sire to keep 31-year-old Ron­aldo at the Bern­abeu for the rest of his ca­reer, Real pres­i­dent Florentino Perez has long be­lieved Bale is the man to suc­ceed Ron­aldo as Real’s best and most mar­ketable player. Bale has en­joyed and en­dured plenty of ups and downs in his three sea­sons in the Span­ish cap­i­tal.

Goals to win the 2014 Cham­pi­ons League and Copa del Rey fi­nals made him an in­stant hit.

How­ever, he suf­fered from sting­ing crit­i­cism and was jeered by the Real fans to­wards the end of his sec­ond sea­son as Madrid ended the cam­paign tro­phy­less un­der Carlo Ancelotti.

Yet Perez’s faith and be­lief for the fu­ture was only em­bold­ened by Bale’s sen­sa­tional form to­wards the end of last sea­son with Ron­aldo a more pe­riph­eral fig­ure due to a re­cur­ring knee in­jury.

Bale led Madrid on a 12-game win­ning run to end the La Liga sea­son to miss out on the ti­tle by just a point and to an 11th Euro­pean Cup with a penalty shootout win over city ri­vals Atletico Madrid. His per­for­mances in in­spir­ing Wales to the Euro 2016 semi-fi­nals-their best run in a ma­jor fi­nals-con­firmed his sta­tus as one of the world’s best. And a first ever place on the podium for the Bal­lon d’Or could fol­low af­ter Bale was named among the 30 nom­i­nees for the prize last week.— AFP

MADRID: Real Madrid’s Welsh for­ward Gareth Bale leaves a press con­fer­ence in the me­dia room at the San­ti­ago Bern­abeu sta­dium in Madrid yes­ter­day. Real Madrid and Gareth Bale have agreed an ex­ten­sion to the player’s con­tract, keep­ing him at the club un­til the 30th of June 2022. — AFP

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