Gareth Bale will always remember Sept. 2, 2013. That day marks the actualization of a boyhood dream, being presented as a Real Madrid player at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The Bernabeu was packed with upward of 85,000 fans reportedly clamoring to catch a glimpse of the world’s most expensive player. It stands to reason that thousands of fans were turned away, unable to see the $132 million man.
Fast forward just one day, and look at the raucous crowd gathered to see Bale in action during training for the Wales national team:
We’re surprised the fire marshal wasn’t called to help scatter the throng of supporters. In all seriousness, though, maybe this is a good thing for Bale. He has a heap of expectations on his shoulders in Spain, so a little peace and quiet might be a welcomed change of pace.
(Images courtesy of Reuters).
Leave it to Jose Mourinho to go out in one final blaze of glory.
Rather than join his team on the pitch for warmups and pregame ceremonies, he decided to wait in the tunnel to make sure that he could make a grand entrance for his final appearance at the Bernabeu with the club.
After the match began and the manager finally appeared, he was swarmed with photographers. It got so hectic that the referee had to pause the game to clear the cameramen from the sidelines. Once the photo opp was finished, Mourinho quietly took a seat on the team’s bench.
Mourinho wishes the team happiness and will exit La Liga on a high note after defeating Osasuna 4-2. Before the match, the former Chelsea manager provided a goodbye statement on Real Madrid’s website after his three-year stint with the club:
”I wish all of Real Madrid’s supporters much happiness in the future,” Mourinho said. ”I want to thank many fans for their support, and I respect the criticism of others. I repeat, happiness to all, and above all, good health. Hala (Forward) Madrid!”
Madrid players Sami Khedira and Alvaro Arbeloa wished Mourinho well on their Facebook and Twitter accounts respectively:
Atletico Madrid - Copa del Rey champs!
Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid - Copa del Rey Final
Cool under pressure
Happy birthday, Santiago Bernabeu!