09 Jul 2022 | 16:42 | Football
Gareth Bale for Wales (Getty Images)
Wales captain Gareth Bale said on Friday that the opportunity to bring his expertise and skills to a Los Angeles FC youth team prompted him to jump to the American Professional Football League (MLS).
“It just feels really like the right thing to do,” Bale said. “Feeling at home instantly.”
The five-time UEFA Champions League champion arrived by plane in southern California and hours later saw his new club beat away team Los Angeles Galaxy 3-2 in his first tasting. try the derby “El Trafico”.
Bale told ESPN television: “Watching the fans live for the first time made me more alert. “What an incredible reception I had when I walked in. It’s just been a pleasure to start and play in front of these incredible fans.”
The 32-year-old former Real Madrid and Tottenham forward is eligible to play but has barely met his teammates.
Supporters settled in as Bale smiled and waved at them, the crowd chanting his name before the game.
In June, Bale helped Wales win the World Cup for the first time in 64 years.
Bale said he is ready for his adventure in the US and preparing for the Qatar World Cup later this year.
“The best preparation is to play the game,” says Bale. “I want to come here. I want to play the game and make my mark and do my best to help LAFC win a trophy.”
Bale has signed a one-year contract until 2023 after being touted by LAFC bosses.
“It’s many things. It’s not just one specific thing,” Bale said. “We had a conversation on Zoom about the many things I can come and offer – what I can do in football.”
The Welshman said he could “help the young players because it’s a very young team here, give them advice, see what I do in terms of professional standards and try to help them. “
Bale joined a club for just his fifth season on the pitch but a club that is expected to match the sparkle that rivals Galaxy once enjoyed with David Beckham.
“Just the project they have here is really amazing,” says Bale. “They have a lot of great young players trying to develop. The club is really on the upswing.
“It’s very new but it’s something really glamorous. It’s just a very attractive club.”
LAFC, the overall MLS leader, will visit Nashville and Kansas City over the next two weeks before playing their next home game on July 29 against Seattle.
Derby won the drought ended
LAFC improves to 4-7 with five draws in the all-time run, Black and Gold on a five-game winless streak against Galaxy.
LAFC took a 1-0 lead at half-time with a 17-minute header from Ecuadorian midfielder Jose Cifuentes, but the Galaxy equalized in the 55th minute after a goal from French striker Samuel Grandsir.
Cifuentes headed in a cross from the center of Mexico striker Carlos Vela in the 70th minute and Cristian Arango hit his right foot in the 72nd minute to give LAFC a 3-1 lead.
Galaxy Madagascar midfielder Rayan Raveloson scored from a header in the 81st minute.