Gareth Bale is NOT the world's most expensive footballer
Real Madrid admit they paid less than £80m for Welsh winger, and Ronaldo still has his crown
GARETH BALE is not the world's most expensive footballer, it has been revealed.
The Welsh winger moved from Spurs to Real Madrid during the summer in what was reported to be to be a world record transfer, with the fee said to be as much as €101m (£86m). That figure would have eclipsed the €94m that Madrid paid for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009.
However, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has now revealed that Bale actually cost less than his preening Portuguese team-mate.
Perez let the cat out of the bag during an appearance on Spain's Intereconomia television channel.
He stated that the club had insured Bale for €91m in case anything untoward happened to him, and confirmed that the policy was worth the same amount as his transfer fee. And that equates to a transfer fee of just £78m.
"It's a life insurance, against accidents. Bale is insured for the amount he cost," said Perez, making it clear that the insurance policy covers death and permanent invalidity, reports AFP.
"Neither Real Madrid nor Tottenham, Bale's former English Premier League club, had previously disclosed the price tag, which the British press had speculated at up to €101m," it adds.
Real Madrid will be hoping they don't need to claim on the insurance, and Perez tried to play down reports that Bale was suffering from a chronic back injury and could even require surgery on a herniated disc.
"They said it was a hernia, but it isn't. If he had one we would say so like usual," said Perez. "[Bale] hopes to be able to play on Saturday. His problem, as the whole world knows, is the lack of pre-season training, he suffered a thigh injury."
However, one doctor told Spanish paper Marca that Real should not have gone ahead with the Bale transfer if they had been aware of the alleged back problem. "If Real Madrid have signed Gareth Bale knowing about this protrusion, they have committed an error," Dr Avelino Parajon told the paper, reports Eurosport. ·