Three years ago Thursday on transfer deadline day, Gareth Bale sealed his dream move from Tottenham Hotspurs to Real Madrid.
There were some disagreements over the actual transfer fee at the time, but documents leaked in January revealed the fee to be a world record €100.8 million.
So, was the Welshman worth the fee?
Bale got off to a slow start in Madrid after injuring his thigh in preseason. Of Bale’s first sixteen games with Real Madrid, he missed five with injury and was either subbed on or off in six others.
His first taste of El Clasico ended in disappointment as Barcelona came out on top 2-1 and the media heavily criticized Madrid’s number 11.
However, the left-back turned attacker really turned it around in the second half of the season and was instrumental in winning Madrid some silverware.
First, in the Copa del Rey final against Barcelona, he scored one of the best goals of his career to win Madrid the trophy.
FC Barcelona – Real Madrid (1-2)
Bale’s spectacular solo goal to win us the Copa Del Rey final
1x Di María
1x Bale pic.twitter.com/2ZzpdOGUZ8
— Robin™ (@CalmaAtCampNou) August 7, 2016
Then, Bale scored in the 110th minute against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final, again helping Real to a major trophy.
He finished the season with 22 goals and 16 assists in all competitions.
His second season in Madrid saw a bit of a drop-off and some more media criticism. He was even heckled by his own fans for failing to pass to Cristiano Ronaldo, and there was speculation that he and Cristiano could not operate in the same squad.
Despite appearing in more games than the previous season, Bale finished the season with 19 goals and 10 assists in all competitions.
Last season, Bale was again instrumental to a Champions League-winning campaign. The Welshman assisted the only goal in the final with a brilliant flicked header and converted his penalty in the shootout.
— allez les rouges (@i_wasted_time) May 28, 2016
So, you tell us. Worth every penny? Or did Real overpay?