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“I would have come here for a penny,” he said. “I just wanted to be here and in a white shirt.”

Despite staying away from Tottenham during the final days of negotiations, the player said he had been working on his fitness and was hoping to play for Wales in its two upcoming World Cup qualifiers. He will travel to Skopje to play Macedonia on Friday, followed by a match in Cardiff against Serbia four days later.

Bale insisted that the hefty price tag didn’t put any added pressure on him, but added that he already expects a lot from himself and looks forward to pitting his skills against the competition in the league.

“I’ve always followed Spanish football, it’s an amazing league. I had the (Madrid) shirt when I was nine years old,” he said.

He said he had already spoken briefly with Ancelotti and was not concerned about where the coach chooses to play him.

“I enjoy being in all the positions I’ve played in so far, and I don’t know if I’ve got a favorite position anymore,” he said. “I’ll be happy to play wherever he places me.”

Bale, perhaps mindful that his arrival has the potential to unsettle Real’s established superstar, said Ronaldo was the best player in the world and that his desire to play alongside the Portuguese international had been “a massive factor” in wanting to join Madrid.

“I want to learn off him,” Bale said.

With Madrid, Bale will also be playing in the Champions League again _ a competition that Tottenham only reached once during his stint there. He will be wearing the same No. 11 shirt that was worn by Francisco “Paco” Gento, who helped Madrid win six European Cups in the 1950s and `60s.

Bale said one of his favorite memories of Madrid was Zinedine Zidane scoring the winning goal in its 2-1 Champions League final win against Bayern Leverkusen in 2002.

“Tottenham wasn’t easy to leave,” he said, but “my heart was always set on Real Madrid.”


Rob Harris in London contributed to this report.