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SOCCER

Bale “happy and settled” at LAFC after opening account

With his first goal in MLS under his belt, Gareth Bale hinted that he is feeling much better at Los Angeles FC than he did at Real Madrid.

Update:
Gareth Bale: La calidad de la MLS ha mejorado
LA FC

Gareth Bale says that he is “happy and settled” at Los Angeles FC after netting his first goal for the club. The Wales star also appeared to take a veiled pop at his old club, Real Madrid. In June, the 33-year-old ended his near-decade-long association with the Spanish giants by adding La Liga and the Champions League titles to his list of honours, but once again he played a peripheral role in his final season in Spain. Having spent the 2020-21 season back on loan with former club Tottenham, the forward made just 12 appearances last season for Madrid.

Bale scores on his LAFC debut

But Bale marked a fresh start in MLS on Saturday in style after coming off the bench for his LAFC debut, striking a typically fine effort to ensure a 2-0 victory against Sporting KC. “I’m enjoying it here - everybody at the club has made me feel very welcome, and I’ve settled straight away,” he said in his post-match interview.

The Welshman went on to add what could be taken as a possible jibe at his former club for the way he was treated in Madrid, following up with: “I think any player will tell you when they feel happy and settled, they start to play their best football...

Cristian Aranga opened the scoring for the visitors at Children’s Mercy Park just before the hour mark, before Bale came off the bench to make his first appearance for the club. His low effort secured a third straight win for LAFC, cementing their lead at the top of the Western Conference, as they look to build momentum for an anticipated postseason push.

Bale feeling better and better

“Obviously, I think the most important thing is that we won the game, first and foremost,” Bale added. “We all knew the first half maybe wasn’t good enough but the manager had another great team talk and got us going. [It was] nice to come on and grab a goal to help the team get three points. From a personal point of view, it’s nice to get off the mark and help the team get three points. The transition has been a normal one, We’d be in pre-season now in Europe, so I’m getting my fitness back up quickly. The club’s doing an amazing job to progress me and not push me too quick. I’m starting to feel better and better, and I’m glad to contribute tonight.”

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