Gareth Bale unveiled at LAFC in derby win


 Gareth Bale of Los Angeles FC waves to fans before a game against the Los Angeles Galaxy in the first half at Banc of California Stadium on July 08, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.

Gareth Bale was unveiled at LAFC’s derby against LA Galaxy on Friday night, with head coach Steve Cherundolo ready for the Welshman to feature “ASAP”.

Watching LAFC’s 3-2 victory from the stands — in a game dubbed ‘El Trafico’ — Bale was joined by fellow new signing Giorgio Chiellini.

He led the on-pitch celebrations with a megaphone after the game, and was also soaked with water by his new teammates.

The Athletic revealed Bale was set to join the California side last month, moving to the MLS after his contract at Real Madrid expired.

Bale has joined on an initial year-long contract, and has an option to extend his stay in California for a further 18 months.

The 32-year-old had numerous clubs vying for his services but prioritised regular gametime ahead of Wales’ return to the World Cup after 64 years this summer.

LAFC are five points clear at the top of the Western Conference, having only finished ninth last season.

“You saw how quickly a player gets integrated into our circle,” said Cherundolo. “We will get Gareth in ASAP.

“'He was ready tonight, but I think it would have been asking a little much to have him come off the plane and right into the game.”

Speaking to ESPN on Friday night, Bale said: “The best prep is to play games. I want to come here. I want to play games and make my stamp and do as best I can to try and help LAFC win a trophy.

“And I can help with the youngsters because it's a very young team here, give them advice, seeing what I do in terms of professional standard and try to help them.

“The league is a growing league. It was an exciting opportunity I felt was right for me and my family. It's very new but it's something that's really glamorous. It's just a very attractive club.”


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