How Cristiano Ronaldo Complicated Gareth Bale’s Real Madrid Transfer, Per Former Director

How Cristiano Ronaldo Complicated Gareth Bale’s Real Madrid Transfer, Per Former Director

Edwin Kiplagat
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
Gareth Bale logo
-FWales logo
Cristiano Ronaldo logo
C. Ronaldo
Al Nassr FC logoFPortugal logo
  • Gareth Bale spent nine years at Real Madrid before leaving the club in 2022
  • He played a key role in their La Liga and UEFA Champions League successes
  • However, Bale's transfer to the club was complicated by Cristiano Ronaldo

Gareth Bale retired from football earlier this year after a successful career with Tottenham Hotspur, Real Madrid, and Wales.

His transfer to Los Blancos in 2013 was massive but wasn't as straightforward as it seemed, and Cristiano Ronaldo had a small part to play in that.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Real Madrid, Florentino Perez, Champions League
Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo formed a great partnership at Real Madrid. Photo by Christopher Lee - UEFA.
Source: Getty Images

The Spanish giants paid a world record figure of €100 million in 2013, and alongside Ronaldo, they won four UEFA Champions League titles together in one of the club's most successful eras.

Bale spent nine trophy-laden years at Real Madrid, scoring 106 goals in 258 appearances. The Wales legend formed a phenomenal partnership with Ronaldo and Karim Benzema.

He scored twice in the 2018 UCL final against Liverpool, including a breathtaking overhead kick. His time at the club was plagued by injuries and his relationship with then-manager, Zinedine Zidane wasn't great.

Despite that, Bale left his mark on the club and departed on June 22, 2022, per ESPN.

Did Ronaldo complicate Bale's transfer?

Former Tottenham Hotspur Director of Football Administration, Darren Eales recently revealed the details of the transfer.

He said the deal was difficult because Real Madrid wanted Ronaldo to remain as the club's most expensive player.

"We were dealing with Real Madrid, who had Cristiano Ronaldo. And they wanted to get it so that Ronaldo was still the most expensive player and they were paying more, so there was a lot of negotiation about how they were going to spin it at their end because they were protecting Ronaldo," he said via GiveMeSport.

Bale was the most expensive Real Madrid player before Eden Hazard joined in 2019.

Jude Bellingham is the second most expensive player, while Bale is third on the list. Despite joining Real Madrid in 2009, Ronaldo is the club's fourth most expensive signing.

Exciting news! We have a WhatsApp channel 🤩

➡️ Click to join our channel for all your favourite sports news.

Bale picks Messi above Ronaldo

Sports Brief also previously reported that Gareth Bale had opted for Lionel Messi ahead of Ronaldo as the greatest player to ever grace the Champions League.

The Welshman's choice has since fuelled the endless debate on who the greatest of all time is between the former Barcelona captain and the Portuguese icon.

Edwin Kiplagat photo
Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.