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In April he won the top two awards in English football after being voted player of the year and the young player of the year by his fellow professionals in English football.

The last player to achieve the Professional Footballers’ Association double was Ronaldo in 2007, and the pair will now be on the same side in Spain.

In Bale and Ronaldo, Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti will have one of the most formidable attacks in football to compete with Spanish champion Barcelona, which boasts Lionel Messi and new recruit Neymar.

Tottenham’s apparent insistence to complete its squad before selling Bale led to the deal being dragged out almost until the end of transfer window on Monday.

“Gareth was a player we had absolutely no intention of selling as we look to build for the future,” Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy said. “He is a player whose career we have fostered and developed and he was only a year into his new four-year contract.

“Such has been the attention from Real Madrid and so great is Gareth’s desire to join them, that we have taken the view that the player will not be sufficiently committed to our campaign in the current season.”

Bale joined Tottenham in 2007 from Southampton for 5 million pounds (then $8 million) but endured a frustrating start to his Spurs career.

Although he scored three times in his first four starts, a series of injuries stymied his progress and Tottenham failed to win any of the first 24 Premier League games he appeared in for the club. That made him a symbol of poor results for fans until finally being part of a win on his 25th attempt, when he emerged as a substitute after 84 minutes.

Since then, Bale has never looked back. Neither has Tottenham, which at one point was reported to have tried to use Bale as a make-weight in deals to bring in new players.

After shaking off his substitute’s role in January 2010, Bale began to consistently show the flair and pace that made him the first-choice left back.

And, as the attacking side of Bale’s game began to flourish, he was pushed forward to the left wing.

Having helped steer Tottenham into the Champions League for the first time in May 2010, Bale was rewarded with a lucrative new deal — the first of three successive annual contract upgrades.

Bale announced himself to the world with two dazzling displays against Champions League holder Inter Milan in the group stage in the 2010-11 season, including a hat trick at the San Siro.

Bale’s importance to the London club was underscored last season by the fact his 21 league goals helped win 22 points for Spurs although they still finished a place outside the top four.

And Bale had outgrown the team.

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