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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Gareth Bale: Can't turn Real down

Gareth Bale says nothing could have stopped him from joining Real Madrid, claiming his "once in a lifetime" move was inspired by the opportunity to play in the Champions League and win trophies.

• Bennett: Bale's fandom

Bale joined the La Liga giants in an £85.3 million deal before the close of the transfer window. The Welshman insists he would not have stayed at Tottenham even if they had qualified for Europe's elite club competition.

He told BT Sport: "It's once in a lifetime and I don't think you can turn down a team like that.

"For me I want to be playing (in the) Champions League but also winning trophies.

"At a club like that they're out to win every trophy they're involved in. That's exactly what I want to do.

"When Real Madrid comes in it's a once in a lifetime opportunity. I think if I didn't take it I would probably regret it for the rest of my life."

Bale said he hoped the Tottenham fans would continue to hold him in high regard.

"The fans have been absolutely unbelievable with me," he said. "They've supported me through the bad times and believed in me.

"The nights they were cheering my name, I will never forget the great European nights at White Hart Lane.

"They were amazing and Tottenham will always have a place in my heart.

"I hope they understand Real Madrid is an absolute massive, massive club and they will understand and respect my decision."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.
 

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