From the creaking boards of the temporary stage erected to present Gareth Bale to his new audience it is not hard to understand why the Welshman has set his heart on this move to Real Madrid.
Five tiers of blue-and-white seats steeple towards a clear blue sky and when he steps out on to the canvas-topped scaffold, perhaps later this week, thousands will be there to acclaim his switch from the lilywhite of Tottenham to Los Merengues.
When the time comes for him to pull on the famous white Real shirt for real and leave the home dressing room, turn left, down 24 steps into the tunnel before climbing 14 steps on to the turf, the place will be packed, dripping with adulation, excited to see their latest Galactico.
In for a dip: Bale takes a swim at his rented apartment in Marbella
They will back their man here at a club where smashing the transfer record has become a habit, although yesterday the clamour was limited.
Supporters have faith in president Florentino Perez to capture his prime target before the transfer window closes next week.
Dependable barometers of Madrid opinion such as taxi drivers and bartenders knew little of Bale, other than that the £86million fee seemed a little high, in their view.
Fans, mostly tourists, on the stadium tour were unaware of the significance of the small stage, erected behind the benches where the coaches and substitutes sit. Nobody was thinking about taking it down on Monday, although, for Daniel Levy, it will probably represent a moral victory if the deal drags through the weekend and it has to be dismantled for Sunday’s game against Athletic Bilbao.
Ready: A stage has been set up at the Bernabeu for Bale's arrival
At La Bodega and the Orsay Bar, cafes in the shadow of the Bernabeu Stadium, fans sipped their coffees and, later, cervezas and debated the imminent arrival of Bale.
They had seen the photographs in the sports papers which showed him and his family in and around the swimming pool at a five-star apartment in Marbella in the south of Spain.
‘Bale relaxes,’ said the headline and the stories made it clear that it was only a matter of time.
But Levy’s reputation for squeezing every last pound from a transfer deal extends at the very least to the Spanish capital. A lone photographer stood vigil by the entrance to Real’s offices. The team were in Andalusia for last night’s game against Granada but he was hoping for a telling glimpse of a director or an agent as they nipped by, into the underground car park.
On the move: Bale is set to sign for Real Madrid for a world record fee of £86 million
Nearby, the club shop had its shirts on display in numerical order, with a striking gap between No 10 Mesut Ozil and No 12 Marcelo.
Staff printing names on to the shirts confirmed there had been requests for Bale’s name and a No 11 but they could not oblige. You might see a counterfeit version, they explained, but nothing official. Not until ‘it’ was official.
Some Real fans were concerned that yesterday’s developments might threaten the deal but most expect Perez to get his man, although they are unsure what to make of him.
One season ticket holder in La Bodega admitted he had barely seen Bale play, since Tottenham were not regulars in the Champions League and he never watched Wales. Nor did he know where Carlo Ancelotti ought to play him.
On target: Benzema gets Real¿s winner in Granada
‘He’s left foot, no?’ asked another as a quick mini-poll was organised among friends at the Marca Sports Cafe, a Real stronghold. They concluded that Bale would most probably feature on the right.
Among the shifting of salt and pepper pots and toothpick holders, this would leave Cristiano Ronaldo on the left, Karim Benzema at centre forward and Isco in the playmaker’s role at No 10. Last night, Isco played a little deeper, alongside Luka Modric in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
On top of this, Bale will carry the banner of being the world’s most expensive footballer and be compared to the likes of Ozil and Angel Di Maria, with their many Champions League appearances behind them.
Tour the Bernabeu and it is impossible not to be swept away by the glorious past of Real Madrid. Nine European Cups, 32 league titles and 18 Spanish Cups.
Future teammates: Cristiano Ronaldo (centre) lines up a free kick as Mesut Ozil (left) and Sergio Ramos stand by
This is the club who deal in glamour more than any other. There is a special case reserved for those Real players who have won the Ballon d’Or annual award for Europe’s best player.
There are 11 Goldenballs on display and none belong to David Beckham, who is a curiously low-key figure in the club’s halls of fame.
Two are for Alfredo Di Stefano, two for (the original) Ronaldo and one each for Raymond Kopa, Kaka, Luis Figo, Fabio Cannavaro, Zinedine Zidane, Cristiano Ronaldo and Michael Owen.
This is the company Bale will step into if his transfer can be completed. Nobody here doubts that it will be.