Gareth Bale has added another chapter to his bizarre football career. After leaving Real Madrid pardoned by the fans and with five Champions League titles to his name, the Welsh player has announced on his social networks his next destination.
It won't be Getafe or any other Madrid club. Apparently, Bale wanted to stay in Madrid because he is in love with the city and its golf courses after eight seasons in white.
The team chosen by Bale is Los Angeles FC, a team founded in 2014 based in Los Angeles (California) that has nothing to do with the historic Los Angeles Galaxy where David Beckham or Ibrahimovic played. In fact, both teams are local rivals and have already met twice this season. In the league, the Galaxy won 2-1 with a goal by Chicharito Hernández and in the cup the Mexican star's team also won 3-1.
Bale's arrival in MLS is a further boost to a league whose global broadcasting rights have been locked up by Apple since 2023 and which is waiting with open arms for Leo Messi next season once he plays in the World Cup in Qatar and finishes the league with PSG.
The growth of MLS is remarkable and the label of an elephant's graveyard where the old glories of European football used to come to play fewer games and with less intensity has disappeared. Higuain himself, who plays for Inter Miami, declared that "I thought I would come to MLS and play with a cigarette in my mouth and I don't; it's difficult".
Bale is not going to be paid a quarter of what he earned at Real Madrid. It just goes to show the attraction of the competition that brings in stars without big salaries. Specifically, Bale will be paid around €1.5 million a year for the €15 million net he earned at Real Madrid.
The Welshman will not be considered a franchise player, that status is held by Carlos Vela in Los Angeles on a salary of $6.3m. Bale signs until 2023 and could make his debut on 8 July in the derby against Los Angeles Galaxy which would allow him to be in top form for the World Cup as MLS runs until October in its regular phase.
After that, the player could be one of three players with a salary above the MLS-designated salary and will be able to supplement that salary by signing sponsorship deals. Among them will also be Italian centre-back Giorgio Chiellini who has committed to Los Angeles for next season.
The attractiveness of the United States as a country and cities such as New York, Miami, Los Angeles and Chicago is the complement that MLS needs to continue to attract great players from Europe without neglecting its domestic product. In Qatar 2022, the US national team is expected to do well because of the level of its stars such as McKennie (Juventus), Musah (Valencia), Tillman (Bayern), Pulisic (Chelsea) and Weah (Salzburg).