This week, Real Madrid announced that Gareth Bale has signed a contract extension with the club through 2022. The deal makes him the world’s highest-paid soccer player and is worth a remarkable £18.2 million ($22 million) a year after taxes, and the club reportedly set his buyout clause at a staggering £900 million. FIFA’s impending two-window transfer ban on Real Madrid for signing underage players gave Bale lots of leverage in negotiations, which started last summer. It also helps that Bale feels more comfortable every day in the Spanish capital.
Bale has done plenty to quiet any critics who doubted his move from Tottenham to Real Madrid in 2013.
He scored the eventual match-winning goal in extra time of the 2014 Champions League final against rival Atletico Madrid, and he has also won two UEFA Super Cups, a FIFA Club World Cup and a Copa del Rey. Now in his fourth season at Real Madrid, he has scored 50 goals in 90 league appearances, with a league title the only silverware truly missing from his time at the Bernabeu.
Now, he’ll have a number of years to try and achieve it while also trying to live up to the expectations that come with his new distinction.
Real Madrid currently leads La Liga by two points over Barcelona through 10 matches.