Gareth Bale to join LAFC in Major League Soccer

Since Gareth Bale helped Wales play in the World Cup for the first time since 1958, his compatriots had only one question: for which club would he sign and play to prepare for the tournament?

The answer came on Saturday: after the expiration of his contract with Real Madrid and flirting with a return to his hometown, 32-year-old Bale agreed to join Los Angeles FC in Major League Soccer. The move will give him regular playing time, plenty of sunshine and a full five consecutive months of matches to hone his form before the start of the World Cup in Qatar at the end of November.

LAFC teased an international signing on its social media accounts on Saturday, and an MLS official familiar with Bale’s decision to join the league confirmed that a formal announcement of his signing would be imminent, possibly as early as Sunday.

Bale broke the news a few hours later in his own Twitter post: “See you soon LA,” he wrote over a short video of him wearing his new LAFC jersey.

As his contract with Real Madrid expires this summer, Bale has announced his intention to leave Spain and has been available to any team as a free transfer. A five-time Champions League winner with Madrid, who acquired him in 2013 for a then-record €100 million (just over $105 million), he has become a minor player for the club in recent years, playing infrequently and openly feud with the team and its fans all, rejecting any attempt to move on.

Bale had flirted with a move to Cardiff City in his hometown in the final weeks before choosing MLS, and in Los Angeles when it was time to take up the pen.

While a return to Wales would be popular and symbolic – Bale was born in Cardiff – his choice of Los Angeles may better fit his World Cup preparations. MLS shifted its schedule this season to accommodate the World Cup, giving Bale a steady diet of games from July to October and then either a playoff push or a short hiatus before the World Cup.

LAFC currently top of the Western Conference standings, and on Saturday he came out with the best result in the league. The addition of Bale and veteran Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini, whose introduction is scheduled for next week, next month to a team that already has Mexican star Carlos Vela on board could make LAFC favorites for the MLS Cup this fall.

Once his MLS signing becomes official, Bale will be able to make his debut for his new team against LA Galaxy on July 8. important moments in the past: In 2018, Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahimovic entered the game, for the first time in MLS, and scored one of the most famous goals in league history.

However, Bale’s main focus will be on the World Cup. Wales opens the tournament on its first day, November. 21. His opponent that day? United States.