Some fantastic players have graced Major League Soccer (MLS) with their presence over the years, but Los Angeles FC may have got their hands on the biggest foreign star yet. The relative newcomers to the MLS have somehow managed to pull off a major coup by convincing former Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale to join the club.
Bale is arguably the biggest star to ever play in the MLS, beating such legends as David Beckham, David Villa, and even Zlatan Ibrahimovic, although the latter will have something to say about that. Los Angeles FC has got one of the world’s best players on his day, one who should shine brightly at the Banc of California Stadium and any other stadium he turns out in the black and gold of LAFC. Head coach Steve Cherundolo will be rubbing his hands together in anticipation of unleashing a player of Bale’s talents, a player who has scored 221 career goals for club and country. Bale’s name will be high up for the Golden Boot award with everyone who likes to bet on soccer with online sportsbooks.
Details of Bale’s contract are still being finalized, but the Welshman is taking a substantial salary cut to play for Los Angeles FC. Bale’s Real Madrid salary saw him earn $736,500 per week or $38.3 million per year. That astronomical sum is almost three times the current LAFC roster’s combined salaries! Mexican forward Carlos Vela is the team’s current top earner with a $2,250,000 base salary and $4,050,000 guaranteed compensation; Bale will at least match that amount.
Bale’s Incredible, Illustrious Career
Bale started his career with Southampton FC, who were in Eglish soccer’s second-tier at the time. Bale was only 16 years and 275 days old when he made his full debut, becoming the second youngest player to ever play for the club. He played two league games during his first season and 38 the following campaign, leading Tottenham Hotspur to pay £5 million to sign him.
The Welshman started life as a left-back but a left-back who loved to get forward more than he enjoyed defending. In 2010, then Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp deployed Bale as a left winger, and it was abundantly clear this was Bale’s natural position. Bale scored seven goals in 30 appearances, then nine in 36 games, before ending the 2012-13 season with 21 goals in 33 games.
Spanish giants Real Madrid signed Bale from Spurs for a then-world record €100.8 million. Bale was incredible for Real Madrid from the 2013-14 season to the 2017-18 campaign, but he found his playing time limited by injuries and later by a public fallout with Madrid’s manager. Last season, Bale played only five times for Madrid, scoring one goal.
Why Has Bale Chosen Los Angeles FC?
To date, Bale has won the Spanish La Liga three times, the UEFA Champions League five times, UEFA Super Cup on three occasions, and three FIFA Club World Cup medals. Why has such a successful player chosen to play for Los Angeles FC when he could have had his pick from almost any team in the world?
Los Angeles FC fans may have the fact Bale’s native Wales qualified for the upcoming 2022 World Cup for his decision to come to the MLS. Bale wants to play regularly to keep his fitness and sharpness up, which is one of the main reasons. Second, the World Cup takes place in Qatar, where it is scorching hot, so playing in the California sun may have been another deciding factor.
In addition, the American press tends not to be as intrusive as the Spanish media. The Spanish media often chastised Bale throughout his time in Madrid, even calling him a parasite at one stage.
Regardless of the reasons, Los Angeles FC fans and other MLS supporters are in for a real treat when Bale dons the black and gold uniform and steps out onto the field. Exciting times are ahead.