Bale, 32, has penned an emotional message following his exit from Real, with his contract up at the end of June.
The Wales international has endured a tumultuous relationship with Real supporters and local media at times, particularly in recent seasons, but he thanked the fans in his social media post.
“I write this message to say thank you to all my team-mates, past and present, my managers, the backroom staff and to the fans that supported me,” Bale said.
“I arrived here 9 years ago as a young man who wanted to realise my dream of playing for Real Madrid. To wear the pristine white kit, to wear the crest on my chest, to play at the Santiago Bernabeu, to win titles and to be part of what it’s so famous for, to win the Champions League.
“I can now look back, reflect and say with honesty that this dream became a reality and much, much more.”
Bale was very much on the fringes in his final season at Real, making just seven appearances in all competitions as he struggled with injuries.
He leaves Real, however, with a record of 106 goals in 256 appearances, having won three La Liga titles, a Copa del Rey and five Champions Leagues. Bale scored in the 2014 Champions League final as they secured ‘La Decima’ — their 10th European Cup.
“To be a part of this club’s history and to achieve what we achieved while I was a Real Madrid player, has been an incredible experience and one I will never forget,” Bale continued.
“I also want to thank President Florentino Perez, Jose Angel Sanchez, and the board for giving me the opportunity to play for this club. Together we were able to create some moments that will live forever in the history of this club and football.
“It has been an honour. Thank you! HALA MADRID!”
Bale was an unused substitute as Real beat Liverpool in Saturday’s Champions League final, but was present during their celebrations in Madrid the following day.
Bale joined Real from Tottenham Hotspur in 2013 for a then-world record fee of £85 million.
After falling out of favour in the summer of 2020, Bale returned to Tottenham on a season-long loan. He made 34 appearances, scoring 16 goals.
(Photo: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)