Bale is the world's most expensive player
Bikash Mohapatra looks at instances when Real Madrid bettered itself in the summer transfer market!
The longest running saga of this summer's transfer window has finally reached a conclusion.
Real Madrid have shelled out a world record 84.62 million pounds (100 million euros) to buy Gareth Bale from Tottenham Hotspur.
The nine-times European champions had made their intentions clear for a very long time, but the North London club held back the deal in a bid to ensure adequate replacements for the Wales winger.
With Tottenham acquiring Christian Eriksen, Erik Lamela and Vlad Chiriches on the same day (August 31), the Welshman's move got the requisite clearance.
A day later, Bale signed a six-year deal.
With the record transfer, the 24-year-old becomes the latest 'galactico' signing by the world's richest club and marks the latest instance when the Madrid club broke its own transfer record, one that happened to be a world record as well.
Image: Gareth Bale waves to fans in his new Real Madrid shirt during his official unveiling at estadio Santiago Bernabeu
Photographs: Denis Doyle/Getty Images
Ronaldo is one of Real's best acquisitions ever
For starters, Bale succeeds new team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo as the world's most expensive player.
As was the hype during the Welshman's protracted transfer this summer, back in June 2009 the player in question was the Portuguese.
Real broke its own record for the highest transfer fee ever paid (till then) by agreeing to pay Premier League champions Manchester United 80 million pounds (96 million euros) for securing Ronaldo's signature.
As it turned out, the Portuguese became one of the best acquisitions ever at the Santiago Bernebeu, having thus far netted more than 200 goals for the club.
Image: Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid celebrates a goal
Photographs: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Kaka was an expensive flop
It's a fact that Real broke the transfer record twice in the span of a few days in 2009.
Amid the hype surrounding Ronaldo's move, another mega deal somewhere got sidelined.
The Madrid club dished out 56 million pounds (65 million euros) to acquire Kaka from AC Milan.
However, the high-profile move boomeranged, as the Brazilian failing to establish himself at the Bernebeu.
Now, pegged back further in the pecking order following the arrival of Bale, Kaka has secured a return to San Siro, signing a two-year deal that will see him earn him significantly less - about four million euros per season.
Image: Kaka in action
Photographs: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Zidane remains a Real legend
Zinedine Zidane's move from Juventus to Real remained the transfer record for well over a decade.
The Spanish powerhouse paid the Italian giants 45.8 million pounds (75 million euros) in 2001 to secure the services of the Frenchman.
Zidane turned out to be a value-for-money acquisition, winning five trophies at the Bernebeu, including the Champions League (2002) and the Primera Liga (2003).
The Frenchman was also named the FIFA World Player of the Year during his time in Madrid.
At present, Zidane is an assistant to coach Carlo Ancelloti.
Image: Zinedine Zidane of Real Madrid Legends controls the ball
Photographs: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images
From Barcelona, with love
It's the biggest transfer at the turn of the millennium and involved arch-rivals.
Real didn't hesitate to pay 37 million pounds (60 million euros) to secure the services of Luis Figo from Barcelona in 2000.
The Portuguese is one of a few players to have made such a switch and his arrival signaled the beginning of the 'galactico' era.
Figo was a huge success at the Bernebeu, winning two La Liga titles (2001 and 2003) as well as the 2002 Champions League.
Image: Luis Figo of Real Madrid in action
Photographs: Clive Mason/Getty Images