Tottenham have re-signed Wales forward Gareth Bale from Spanish champions Real Madrid on a season-long loan. Bale, 31, left Spurs for a then world record £85m in 2013 and went on to score more than 100 goals and win four Champions Leagues with Real.
“It’s nice to be back. It’s such a special club to me. It’s where I made my name,” said Bale.
“Hopefully, now I can get some match fitness, get under way and really help the team and, hopefully, win trophies.”
Spurs said Bale has signed for them with a knee injury sustained playing for Wales earlier this month and they “anticipate that he will be match fit after October’s international break”.
That would mean the forward missing their next five games, with the club’s first outing following the international break at home to West Ham on 17 October.
Bale originally joined Tottenham as a 17-year-old from Southampton in 2007 for an initial payment of £5m. “I always thought when I did leave that I would love to come back,” he added.
“I feel like it is a good fit. It’s a good time for me. I’m hungry and motivated. I want to do well for the team and can’t wait to get started.”
At Real, Bale has also won two La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey, three Uefa Super Cups and three Club World Cups.
“I think by going to Madrid, winning trophies and going far with the national team I feel like I have that kind of winning mentality, how to win trophies,” he said.
“You don’t realise it until you’re there and in those situations, in finals, how to kind of deal with the situation, the nerves, the pressure, and I think that all goes with experience.
“Hopefully I can bring that to the dressing room, bring a bit more belief to everybody that we can win a trophy, and the target is to do that this season, to be fighting on every front possible. I want to bring that mentality here, back to Tottenham.”
Bale remains the most expensive British player in history, as well as the top-scoring British player in La Liga – with 80 goals and 40 assists in 171 league appearances, averaging a goal or assist every 104 minutes.
However, a run of injuries, indifferent form and a deteriorating relationship with manager Zinedine Zidane had seen Bale become a marginal figure.
Real eclipsed the £80m they paid Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009 to take Bale to the Bernabeu, with the forward signing an initial £300,000-a-week, six-year contract.
He extended his stay with a new six-year deal in 2016, reported to be worth £600,000 a week – and £150m over its duration – in salaries and bonuses.
The Welshman was hugely successful in his first few seasons at Real, scoring in the 2014 and 2018 Champions League finals, as well as the 2014 Copa del Rey final.