‘I have many years to come’: Bale targets Euro 2024 after checking in at LAFC

  • ‘I want to make my mark on this league,’ says Wales captain
  • Bale hopes he can play on ‘even further’ than next Euros

Gareth Bale has insisted he could play on until beyond the next European Championship in 2024 and intends to carry on his trophy-winning habit in MLS after joining LAFC.

The Wales forward, who is 33 this week, has signed an initial 12-month contract with an option for an extra year after leaving Real Madrid last month having won a staggering 19 trophies there. Bale trained with his new teammates for the first time on Monday and admitted that he has been eager to get started as he prepares to lead Wales to their first World Cup finals since 1958 in November.

But he was also adamant that his move to LAFC – who are currently top of the Western Conference in MLS – was not the beginning of the end of his career. “I still have many years to come,” said Bale. “I want to give myself the best opportunity to go to the next Euros or maybe even further.

“I want to make my mark on this league and I think by being here it gives me the best chance of going to the Euros and you never know maybe one more. My plan is to really work hard - it’s a very physical league but I’m really looking forward to getting up to speed and getting started.”

Bale’s arrival is widely regarded as the biggest signing in the five-year history of LAFC, who unveiled Italy World Cup winner Giorgio Chiellini last week and also boast former Arsenal forward Carlos Vela in their ranks. The Welshman attended their victory over local rivals LA Galaxy on Friday night in the derby known locally as ‘El Trafico’ and admitted he had been impressed by the atmosphere created by the home supporters.

Bale said that he has been a regular visitor to the United States during his career and has been watching MLS “for a long time”. “I’m excited to start playing again - when I’m happy I play my best football,” he said. “The standard here is increasing and I think it’s better than most people in Europe give it credit for. Hopefully I can play my part and take this club to the next level.”


Ed Aarons in Los Angeles

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Gareth Bale may need MLS and LAFC more than they need him
It’s a sign of the league’s progress than it no longer relies on aging foreign stars to make its teams relevant

Graham Ruthven

27, Jun, 2022 @8:00 AM

Article image
Bale and Chiellini make home debuts for LAFC in win over Seattle Sounders
Los Angeles FC beat the Seattle Sounders 2-1 Friday night in the home debuts of European superstars Gareth Bale and Giorgio Chiellini


30, Jul, 2022 @6:17 AM

Article image
MLS Cup 2022: LAFC edge Philadelphia on pens after Bale’s 128th-minute goal
Jack McCarthy stopped two penalty kicks as LAFC defeated the Philadelphia Union on penalties, 3-0, after playing to a 3-3 draw to capture the MLS Cup

Joseph D'Hippolito at Banc of California Stadium

05, Nov, 2022 @11:32 PM

Article image
Joy of the playground defined Gareth Bale more than records or trophies
The Wales forward has retired with a glittering CV but it was his breathtaking style which set him apart from the rest

Jonathan Liew

09, Jan, 2023 @9:19 PM

Article image
Gareth Bale feels on good World Cup path despite lack of playing time
Gareth Bale has said he is on a ‘good path’ to be in prime condition to lead Wales at the World Cup and that he is building himself up cleverly

Ben Fisher

21, Sep, 2022 @11:18 AM

Article image
Gareth Bale announces retirement from football: ‘I have realised my dream’
Gareth Bale has announced his retirement from football after a glittering career with clubs including Real Madrid and more than 100 appearances for Wales

Ben Fisher

09, Jan, 2023 @3:27 PM

Article image
Gareth Bale has been little more than a guest star in his MLS career so far
The 33-year-old has been trying to regain his fitness in the run-up to the World Cup. But he is yet to complete a full 90 minutes for LAFC

Graham Ruthven

04, Oct, 2022 @7:30 AM

Article image
Riqui Puig to LA Galaxy: the biggest summer in MLS history just got bigger
LA Galaxy’s signing of Riqui Puig, the 23-year-old recently seen as Barca’s next big thing, is the latest stroke in a talent influx that’s included Bale, Bernardeschi and Insigne

Graham Ruthven

05, Aug, 2022 @7:30 AM

Article image
MLS playoff predictions: Zlatan Ibrahimovic stands between LAFC and glory
Los Angeles’ newest team have been merciless this year. But a new playoff format brings an element of luck into the postseason

Graham Ruthven and Jakub Frankowicz

18, Oct, 2019 @8:00 AM

Article image
León beat LAFC to continue Mexican dominance of Concacaf Champions League
The Liga MX team won the final 3-1 on aggregate, meaning a Mexican team has won the competition 14 times in 15 years

Joseph D'Hippolito at BMO Stadium, Los Angeles

05, Jun, 2023 @11:40 AM