When Gareth Bale joined Real Madrid from Tottenham Hotspur for a world-record fee last summer, it was a statement of intent from both the player and his new club.
The La Liga side flexed their financial muscles once more, breaking the record they had themselves set when they bought Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United four years previously; while the Welshman clearly believed he had what it took to play for one of the biggest clubs in the world.
And so it proved, as Bale settled and subsequently shone, scoring 20 goals and providing 18 assists to date.
Tonight he faces Bayern Munich in the biggest match of his career to date – the second leg of the Champions League semi-final – and in the build-up to the match he revealed one of the reasons he left London for Spain last summer.
In quotes published by Portuguese newspaper A Bola, Bale said, “It’s amazing being in the same team as Ronaldo. It’s one of the reasons why I came to Madrid; to be with the best.”
That is certainly the case, and the former Tottenham winger does not look out of place among them, as you would expect of a player with an £85.3million price-tag.
When you consider the footballers Bale now plays with, and the nights like tonight, it is no wonder he left Spurs for the bright lights of Madrid.