The Los Angeles Football Club welcomed 32-year-old Welsh forward Gareth Bale in his introductory press conference today. “Gareth shared our LAFC ambitions to win trophies. We saw this as a special opportunity to welcome a special player to a special club,” LAFC Co-President & General Manager John Thorrington said.
The five-time UEFA Champions League winner had a nine-year career with Real Madrid winning 19 trophies. Bale was named the Best Player of the 2018 Champions League and won the Golden Ball at the 2018 Club World Cup. He started his professional career in 2006 at 16 with Southampton before joining Tottenham Hotspur in 2007. At Tottenham, he was named the PFA Men’s Player of the Year in 2011 and 2012 and selected to the 2011 UEFA Team of the Year. From 2007-2013 he scored 42 goals in 146 appearances for Tottenham. He scored another 11 goals and two assists with Tottenham during the 2020-2021 season on loan from Real Madrid. Since 2006, Bale has made 105 appearances for his national team, scoring 28 goals and 22 assists. Most recently, he helped Wales return to the 2022 FIFA World Cup for the first time in 64 years.
LAFC signed Bale at the end of June to a 12-month contract using Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) with options through 2024. He takes an international roster slot upon the receipt of his P1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate (ITC).
“Gareth is one of the most dynamic and exciting attacking players of his generation,” LAFC Co-President & General Manager John Thorrington. “Adding a player who brings the talent and experience at the highest levels that Gareth does is an incredible opportunity to continue to improve our Club. Gareth is highly motivated to continue to win trophies and we are elated that he has made the choice to join LAFC and help lead us in our ultimate goal of winning championships.”
In his opening remarks, Bale began by applauding the spirit of the LAFC supporter group, the 3252 and how impressed he is by the club’s tailoring the experience for their supporters. “They’ve created an amazing environment for the fans.”
“I am extremely excited for this move to LAFC,” Bale said upon his signing. “This is the right place for me and my family and the right time in my career, and I cannot wait to get started working with the team and getting ready to win more trophies in Los Angeles.”
When asked about the MLS being viewed as a retirement league by many around the world, Bale responded, “The quality is improving, the teams are improving, the league improving, the stadiums are improving… I’ve come here to be here as long as possible. My plan is to really work hard… My goal is to make it to the Euros.”
Bale joined Real Madrid in 2013 and finished his time there as an official club legend, making 258 appearances and registering 106 goals and 67 assists across all competitions – including 176 games in LaLiga. He was a major part of an incredible era at Real Madrid winning 19 trophies, including: five UEFA European Championships, four Club World Cups, three UEFA Super Cups, three LaLiga titles, one Copa del Rey and three Spanish Super Cups.
“There are simply not many players in the world who can have an impact on a match like Gareth Bale,” LAFC head coach Steve Cherundolo said. ” His knowledge of the game and experience in playing in big games will be invaluable for our Club.”