Liga - FACTBOX: Real Madrid signing Gareth Bale

Factbox on Wales international Gareth Bale who joined Real Madrid from Tottenham Hotspur.

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Liga - FACTBOX: Real Madrid signing Gareth Bale
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Gareth Bale

Born: July 16, 1989 in Cardiff, Wales

EARLY CAREER

* Bale joined Southampton as a youngster and made his professional debut aged 16 years and 275 days against Millwall in the Championship in 2006.

* He became Wales's youngest ever player when he made his full international debut as a substitute against Trinidad and Tobago in May 2006.

* He made his first international start later that year and scored his first international goal against Slovakia in a European championship qualifier.

* After making 45 appearances for Southampton and scoring five goals, Bale completed a move to Tottenham Hotspur for an initial fee of £5 million in the close season of 2007.

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

* Although Bale showed glimpses of his talent in his first season at White Hart Lane, his progress was hampered by injury.

* He was used predominantly as a left back in his early career at Spurs but was considered defensively suspect and was dropped in favour of Benoit Assou-Ekotto in the 2008-2009 season.

* He was not on the winning side for his first 24 Premier League matches for the club and only broke his duck when brought off the bench in the 85th minute with his team leading 5-0 against Burnley in September 2009.

CHANGE OF LUCK

* Bale's fortunes changed in January 2010 when he replaced the injured Assou-Ekotto for an FA Cup tie against Peterborough United. He set up three goals in that match and ended the season having scored back-to-back winners against Chelsea and Arsenal as the club qualified for the Champions League.

* He was moved into a more advanced position by then manager Harry Redknapp where his rampaging forward runs and electrifying pace and power came into their own.

* A stunning Champions League hat-trick against Inter Milan at the San Siro in October 2010 marked him out as one of Europe's top talents and that reputation was enhanced further after a memorable display in the return leg at White Hart Lane.

* He was named PFA Player of the Season for 2010-11 and in UEFA's Team of the Year. It was the first time a Tottenham player or a Welsh player had made the line-up.

* His good form continued in the following campaign when he notched nine goals in 36 Premier League appearances but it was another tactical change for the 2012-13 season that elevated his status further still.

* Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas moved him into a central attacking position and this brought about a goal glut with Bale netting 26 times in 44 matches.

* He became the first Tottenham player to score more than 20 Premier League goals in a season since former Germany international Juergen Klinsmann in 1994-95.

* At the end of the season, Bale scooped the major accolades winning the PFA Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year titles as well as the Football Writers Association award.

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