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Top tips to help Real Madrid's £85m signing Gareth Bale settle into his new life in Spain's capital

Gareth Bale has signed a £85m six-year contract with Real Madrid. Photo:

Now that footballer Gareth Bale has become Real Madrid's latest record breaking £85m signing, he is preparing for his new life in the Spanish capital.

Here are a few tips to help him settle with his childhood sweetheart Emma Rhys-Jones and their daughter.

Habla Espanol? (You speak Spanish?)

Top of the list to help Bale's integration with his new lifestyle is for him to learn the first language of many of his team mates and locals.

Of course, he is likely to have help at hand to limit the times when he is lost in translation but Spanish lessons are sure to be on the agenda.

Gareth Bale may need to consult a phrasebook as he learns or refreshes is Spanish. Credit: Press Assocation

Expat Pierre Waters and founder of Moving2Madrid shared a flat with Spanish speakers when he arrived so he would be forced to speak the language.

He told ITV News: "Spaniards don't speak a lot of English. You have to find a common passion. I found a rugby club with all Spanish speakers and had to learn to communicate.

Watch Gareth Bale speaking a little Spanish to Real Madrid fans:

"In Bale's case, he is lucky with his new club, where there is real passion all around. Many people will be more than happy to show him the real Madrid."

"He also has to be more proactive than Michael Owen and learn from his mistakes. He spend five months in a hotel and did not do enough outside activities with locals", Pierre added.

Get immersed in the sights and culture

Tourists walk past the Royal Palace in Madrid.

There are many tourist attractions and places to visit to get an authentic experience of Madrid, here are some of Pierre's suggestions to help Bale discover the city:

  • Have terrace drinks at Plaza Santa Ana, to soak in the atmosphere
  • Sample tapas in the centre of town at Cava Baja one of the liveliest streets in Madrid
  • Watch flamenco at Casa Patas
  • For the fast track to getting to know foods like a local, take a Madrid Food Tour

Shopping in Madrid's Golden Mile

Bale will be able to spend some of his reported £300,000 a week earnings in the exclusive Salamanca district, also known as the Golden Mile.

Luxury shops include footballer favourites Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel and Louis Vuitton.

Comfort foods from home

Some of the British food expats like Bale and his family can find in Spain Credit: The Food Hall

Briton Tim Carr has lived in Spain for over 20 years and is co-founder of The Food Hall, which stocks a wide range of British groceries from gourmet foods to brown sauce and sherbet dips.

Tim says the Beckhams were regular customers during David's time at Real Madrid and used to come in buy sweets and treats for their children.

Aside from the home comforts found in his store, he says: "You can eat extremely well here in Madrid. You don't have the range of restaurants in London but there are very good ones."

If Gareth is missing a traditional Sunday roast, Tim also recommends a trip up to the mountains to the city of Segovia, which is famous for its roast lamb.

Prepare for a new level of fanaticism

Real Madrid fans greeted Bale's arrival to the Bernabeu station with chants of "Bale, Bale, Bale" Credit: Real Madrid

Madrid's an absolutely great place to be but Gareth Bale needs to be prepared for a level of fanaticism that he might not be expecting.

He will be accosted, appraised and criticised.... the atmosphere in the Bernabeu stadium is different, if you have a good day the fans let you know it and if you don't they will too.

– Tim Carr, Briton expat

Familiar British places to help cure homesickness

There is a British-themed watering hole call The Mad Dogs in Madrid.

Gareth Bale will be able to visit Irish pub Finnegans or English pub The Mad Dogs in Madrid.

Alternatively, if the footballer fancies an afternoon of high tea and scones, he can visit the Living in Madrid tea room.

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