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Sport

Factbox: Tottenham Hotspur's loan signing Gareth Bale

(Reuters) - Factbox on Wales international Gareth Bale, who re-signed for Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur in a one-year loan deal from Spanish champions Real Madrid on Saturday.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Champions League Final - Real Madrid v Liverpool - NSC Olympic Stadium, Kiev, Ukraine - May 26, 2018 Real Madrid's Gareth Bale celebrates winning the Champions League by kissing the trophy REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo

Born: July 16, 1989 in Cardiff, Wales

EARLY CAREER

* Bale joined Southampton as a youngster and made his professional debut aged 16 years and 275 days against Millwall in the Championship (second tier) in 2006.

* Becomes Wales’ youngest player when he made his debut as a substitute against Trinidad & Tobago in May 2006.

* Makes his first international start later that year and scores his first international goal in a European Championship qualifier against Slovakia.

* Makes 45 appearances for Southampton and scores five goals

* Completes a move to Tottenham Hotspur for an initial fee of 5 million pounds ($6.46 million) in the close season of 2007.

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

* Bale shows glimpses of his talent in his first season at White Hart Lane but his progress is hampered by injury.

* Used predominantly as a left back in his early career at Spurs but was considered defensively suspect. Dropped in favour of Benoit Assou-Ekotto in the 2008-09 season.

* Did not win any of his first 24 Premier League matches for the club and only broke his duck when brought off the bench in the 85th minute with Spurs leading 5-0 against Burnley in September 2009.

* Replaces injured Assou-Ekotto for an FA Cup tie against Peterborough United and sets up three goals.

* Ends season with back-to-back winners against Arsenal and Chelsea.

* Manager Harry Redknapp decides to deploy him in an advanced position to take advantage of his electrifying pace and forward runs.

* Scores a memorable hat-trick in a 4-3 Champions League loss against Inter Milan at the San Siro.

* Wins PFA Player of the Year award and named in UEFA Team of the Year - the first Welsh player and first Spurs player to be named in the lineup.

* Manager Andre Villas-Boas converts Bale into a forward and he scores a career-high 26 goals in a season in 2012-13.

* Named Player of the Year for a second time and also scoops up Young Player of the Year award.

* Real Madrid sign him for a then-world record fee of 100 million euros ($118.37 million).

REAL MADRID

* Scores on Real debut against Villarreal in 2-2 draw and grabs first hat-trick in a 4–0 win over Real Valladolid, becoming only the second British player to do so in La Liga after Gary Lineker.

* Scores late winner in Copa del Rey final against Barcelona with a stunning solo run from his own half.

* Scores in the 2014 Champions League final in extra time to help Real win their much-awaited 10th Champions League crown and ends the season with 22 goals in all competitions.

* Scores in the 2014 FIFA Club World Cup final as Real beat San Lorenzo 2-0.

* Grabs an assist in the 2016 Champions League final and also scores in the ensuing penalty shootout win over city rivals Atletico Madrid.

* Extends his contract until 2022 but injures his ankle, resulting in a four-month spell on the sidelines in 2016-17. Plays 19 times in La Liga title-winning campaign and wins third Champions League crown.

* Has his best goalscoring return in 2017-18 since his debut season, with 21 goals which included an overhead kick and a long range effort in the Champions League final against Liverpool as Real win their 13th crown and Bale’s fourth.

* Scores his 100th goal for Real Madrid in the 2018-19 season but fans grow increasingly frustrated as the Welshman is unable to step into Cristiano Ronaldo’s shoes after the Portugal forward moved to Juventus.

* Closes in on a move to the Chinese Super League in 2019 before Real Madrid pull the plug to retain him.

* Has his worst season in a Real Madrid shirt, scoring only three goals in 2019-20, missing the final stretch of games in the La Liga title run-in as Real pip Barcelona to the title.

* Refuses to travel for Real’s Champions League last-16 decider at Manchester City in August.

* Admits he is open to Premier League return if Real sanction move.

Compiled by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris

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