Filming this at our training ground no less. I'm fine honestly.


Was gutted when I first saw the news. But then thought if Bale's primary football goal is to be fit for the World Cup and Wales, then realistically a part time schedule of getting the shit kicked out of him In the championship, probably isn't the best move. Probably safer for him to play in a easier league, with a lower liklihood of getting a knock that'll keep him out of the WC. ... he's doing it for us... .. I'm fine, honest.


Another factor is that MLS' season ends in October, so it fits Bale's World Cup timeline perfectly. He doesnt have to retire in the middle of a team's season, and he'll have more time to rest and prepare for the World Cup than in most European leagues (which will break only a week before the World Cup).


Maybe he'll do the David Beckham thing and flit between the US and Europe. He could wrap up the World Cup, sign for somebody back over the pond in the transfer window and still play half a season.


Think he’ll retire after the World Cup


Fits the weather so he can play golf


While it’s been tough to be in a long distance relationship with a Championship Club, Cardiff have always been the only European club I genuinely cared about. I’ve been to Ninian Park, and I’ve been to away days at Palace and at freaking Doncaster, because it’s what I could make work at the time. With a fondness for Cardiff inevitably comes a fondness for Wales. I was probably one of relatively few Americans happy to see Wales win that playoff. All that said, MLS is not really an “easier” league in many ways. Its better first-Elevens are probably comparable to mid or low table Championship counterparts, and it can be every bit as physical, with some brutal enforcer type play, and a core of American boys who came up in a system that valued fitness over technique and pressed for youth-team results over proper development (maybe less dramatically so these days, but it’s still an issue). If Bale knows what he’s in for, this could be a great fit. LAFC has the resources to help keep him fit, he’ll get a feel for some of the US players and sensibilities he’ll face, the season is over right before the World Cup starts, and Qatar in winter won’t be any worse than Texas or Florida in summer. He needs to keep his head on a swivel though, and not let up mentally or physically. He has the class to absolutely dominate, but if he doesn’t adapt his game to his teammates or opponents, he’s going to get frustrated or even injured.


Best 11 MLS teams are mid to high level champ these days. Also very very few players on the 23 who are more athletic than skillful. But I'm sure you know that


Are they fuck lol


I honestly thought it was a golf course


It's Wales" training ground as well though.


Would’ve been a laugh to see him tear up the championship


Lmfao Is that a golf course ?


“now watch this drive”


This will never fail to make me laugh


Trust me it will


I pride myself and think of myself as a man of faith, as there's a drive into deep left field by Castellanos and that'll be a home run. And so that'll make it a 4-0 ballgame. I don't know if I'm going to be putting on this headset again.


Love a good Castellanos Curse.


I absolutely love how it keeps happening too


I pride myself and think of myself as a man of faith, as there's a drive into ~~deep left field~~ the deep left rough by ~~Castellanos~~ Bale that'll be ~~a home run~~ out of bounds. And so that'll make it a ~~4-0 ballgame~~ four-over on the round. I don't know if I'm going to be ~~putting on this headset again~~ playing soccer again.


Cincinnati reference !!


I see this occasionally and always upvote. Thank you.




The non bomb version is still fucking hilarious


Holy shit I think it might be lol


Gotta give it to him, he's a world-class troll.


That’s hilarious tbh


no it's the vale resort in Cardiff where wales train


Which also coincidentally happens to have "Two championship golf courses" and "is one of the UK's most desirable golf break destinations" Hahahahahaha


it's where cardiff city train aswell which stings even more as a cardiff fan aswell


Do you think he did this before or after a training session where they all definitely thought he was going to stay


from the reports he visited the faw which is why he was there in the first place so I assume he must have done the announcement at the same time as well either that must of seen the team train and thought fuck that I'm off to la


The idea of Bale being dead excited to come home, already planning to open 10 new bars and naming his limited edition IPA at Elevens for his return, then actually seeing a Cardiff train and noping out is fucking incredible.


It’s fair to say that the weather in the UK spawns golf course-ready landscapes if you let it. Elsewhere it’s criminal to use that much water and so many resources to force the existence of it, but in Great Britain and Ireland golf makes sense.


there usually isn't lines painted on the grass on golf courses...


Lot of them in the USA lol




I wonder how long before the draught drives all these golf courses out of existence? ...but then again it's a rich people sport, so I guess never.


Golf is a big reason there isn’t more affordable housing, AND why we continue to have daylight savings time. NPR had a nice special last summer.


He wasted no time.


It is always sunny in Cali so must have nice golf courses.


Feels like it’s way to early for him to leave Europe but it is what it is


If he lost against Ukraine he’d be announcing his retirement. I don’t think he thinks about football the way we do.


He literally said he doesn't and people still won't take it seriously.


He literally fits in with Vela which makes this perfect in my eyes, I don’t expect much anyway


Vela and him Courtside at the lakers games this coming season 😂😂😂




Because it’s hard to comprehend how you can be that good at a sport and not like it enough to continue playing as long as you can


Is it? I'm decent at my job but I hate doing it


Im guessing you havent spent your whole life preparing to be that good at your job and arent among the absolute few who can do it


Yeah but I’m gonna assume you’re not in a job that would literally set up generations of your family to have care free lives. I completely understand someone getting burnt out of a job or sick of it but at the end of the day it’s football, you’re being paid millions every year to play football, once you’ve hit a certain level you don’t even have to try anymore and you’ll still be paid incredibly compared to the average person. I don’t get behind this notion that a footballer shouldn’t get criticised for “checking out” of football when they’re still in their 20s just because they hate it, frankly it’s insane to lose the perspective that basically they’ve got the chance at an unreal career to provide multi-generational wealth and security from the age of 17 to near 40, whereas the average person would be very happy to get through their career from around 18 to into their 60s with enough to live a comfortable life themselves and give their kids something. A career as a top level athlete is certainly hard and draining but quite frankly it does come off as a bit entitled when 99.9% of other have to put in at least 25 years more into far less lucrative and fulfilling careers.


Its a cost benefit ratio. He thinks that the mental cost isn't worth the money or glory. He's already set for life, his kids too, more money in exchange for doing something you don't like doesn't seem appealing to him. To each his own


Couldn’t dislike this comment more tbh


I mean, hating your job is usually a good reason to quit, no matter what you're getting paid


Funny enough Carlos Vela of LAFC has openly expressed that he doesn't like football, and only plays it for the money. I think he said he loves basketball


Why? He can’t upgrade teams and he’s won it all.


Honestly, if he chose to retire, he's done everything possible at club level, and he's taking Wales to the world cup for the first time since 1958. He's achieved everything within his ability


He's a multi-millionaire, I'll never blame an athlete for retiring before their body turns to dust. Heard hellish stories of lads in their 40s who can barely walk, or are just in constant pain all day every day. Horrid way to spend like half your life, no matter your bank account Hell I was a relatively promising rower for a bit, probably like 3 and a half stars in a rowing FM game, and I get back spasms now. I'm not even 30 yet


ngl, I'd play Rowing Manager 2022 just to see how much worse the boat gets when I put myself at stroke.


There's a FM like game for rowing?


Oh I wish I was meaning more like if there was a rowing game like FM, I'd be 3.5 stars on a scout recommendation


Time to crowdfund one and see if you can take your local club all the way to the Henley Regatta.


Finally live my dream of getting Camosun College to win Head of Seattle


Reminds me of Batistuta who asked a doctor to amputate him.


Batistuta comes to mind. In his early 50's and he talked about how painful it is to walk to the point he thought of voluntarily amputating his feets.


The stars are relative to your own team though! Were you a 3.5 star rower for somebody like Oxford university or more of a 3.5 star rower for Sheffield rowing club who go up and down the canal?


Absolute legend of the game


From what I've heard, Dele Alli trains incredibly hard compared to Bale. This might be the reason for early retirement plan. It stings, because I really would love to see Gareth at least one more year, wherever in Europe.


I'm so grateful that we were able to witness Bale's last touch in a Spurs shirt recently, and it was [this](https://youtu.be/zzxPZwaA-8w?t=103).


holy shit that defending


That’s Soyuncu without Jonny evans


He had a great season on loan at Spurs. Didn't play a lot but scored quite a number of cracking goals. 16 goals and also the best goals/min ratio if I'm not mistaken.


That defense was like in fifa when your opponent has bad connection ffs


I would say it's way too late. He was already on his way out to China a few years ago, that's enough of a sign of someone who no longer has the desire to do big things in his job and just wants an easy destination where he can keep getting big paychecks.


I mean he also going to join Cardiff City, what’s the difference between playing in the championship and MLS aside from logistics?


Championship is a higher standard of football, but also significantly more physical. Plus there's the sheer grind factor. Championship teams play approx 10 extra games compared to the MLs, as well as the FA and League Cup which championship can go deep in. The fitness in the MLS tends to be way higher, but as far as level of competition and shit kicking physicality, the championship. Particularly the top half of the table is a much rougher ride


championship is probably the league I watch the most behind MLS and Bundesliga, I don’t agree with you at all about “significantly higher level” its pretty similar. I’d have agreed with you 3-4 years ago. As with most leagues comparable to MLS, the top teams are above MLS level but the floor is lower as well Moreover these leagues sign similar profile players and compete for the same ones, as well as have a fair amount of exchange between them on the transfer market


I currently watch Charlotte FC most home games. Before I moved here just before COVID, I would watch football league football in England regularly. Charlotte are above average in the Eastern Conference, but would clearly get destroyed in the Championship. Aside from a handful of players, the level of technique, speed of play, tactical awareness and composure in the MLS is definitely below the Championship. Just go and look up MLS players in FM and compare them to Cardiff.


Why would you use a first-year team as your example instead of say .... the CONCACAF Champions League winners?


They are a bit of a mess, but there’s been only one new team a year


>Just go and look up MLS players in FM and compare them to Cardiff. You must be joking, right?


He hasn’t cared about football in the last 3 years, I’m not surprised


Gutted for Cardiff. Would've been interesting to see him in the Champ.


I don’t know why people think that move was actually going to happen, Bale isn’t going to play in the Championship


Captain hindsight here to verify it for everybody


It’s his hometown and he clearly loves Wales, it wasn’t that far a stretch. It’s not like he’s going to MLS for the quality of football he’s just trying to stay fit until the World Cup and I’m guessing he will retire afterwards.


Interesting for a few but awful for him. Getting kicked every week by someone who couldn't give a shit and having to play plenty of cold and shit nights in the arse end of nowhere.


The championship isn't Sunday league like, it's still high level professionals on thousands of pounds a week


There used to be a stat 10 years or so ago that it was the 4th most attended league in the world. Not sure if it still is


5th highest in viewership too, I believe.


Wouldn't be surprised at all if it is. Its England's second division but its a higher quality than most countries top division.


I love MLS, and I know it is not a top league, but it’s not the place to go if you want to have a little kick-around before you retire. It’s League One tactics and technical skill but Premier League conditioning and infrastructure, with 60% of the players still feeling like they’ve got something to prove on their way up the ladder. You also have regular season travel equivalent to the Champions League, and weather that ranges from 0C in Chicago at the beginning and end of the season, to 38C in Texas in midsummer. The guys who do the best are the rare personalities who make mercenary business decisions off the pitch, but can’t help themselves and remain maniacally competitive on it, while also having a bit of luck with their health. The difference in class was obvious with Thierry Henry or Zlatan, but Gerrard, Lampard, Rafa Marquez, and a dozen others flamed out because their hearts weren’t in it or their bodies were shot. I think Bale will do well the rest of this year, but I wonder if he will want to put up with it all when the World Cup is over.


Instead he’ll get elbowed and kicked by some Colombian or Paraguayan CDM who doesn’t give a shit while playing in 102 degree weather in Frisco Texas Edit: Changed san diego to frisco because there is no MLS team in SD


You picked the one place below the Mason-Dixon line that doesn’t get to 102 lol


Haha, edited it. Sorry, not that familiar with californian climate


Lol no worries, the only thing I know about UK climate is that Stoke gets both cold and rainy at night.


There is no MLS team in San Diego.


And it’s never 102 in San Diego, 72 degrees every day


I almost mentioned that too, but they did have a record high of 111 back in 1963. Same site does say the last year they had a record high of 102 or higher was 1988 at 107 and they touched 100 in 2020. San Diego has fantastic weather 95% of the time.


Do you think the Championship is all amateur players or something? The fuck lol


You should see how physical MLS is, and early and late season away games can be very cold


He's going to completely phone it in isn't he


i think he'll be good for the rest of this season with the world cup coming up, next year is a different story though


For sure. Getting a World Cup Gareth Bale on a cheap contract is always a good idea. It's a 1-year deal with the potential for an 18-month extension, apparently. If Bale tries to phone it in after the World Cup, LAFC could potentially get out from investing huge money into him.


He won't want to risk injury which we know he frequently gets when he exerts himself. He'll also be worried about tackles etc and may be less aggressive and dominant in his play. I'm viewing it like when Ryan Fraser was soon to become a free agent and refused to play because he didn't want to get injured haha


Wait until Bale realizes half of MLS plays on turf...


Here's the reason why I won't think he will: he wants to be match fit for the World Cup. LAFC are currently top of the table in MLS. One could make an argument that, footballing wise, LAFC don't need him to succeed this season. If Bale does phone it in.... he may not play, and then he's not match fit come November. Also, the fact that he's signing with an MLS team before facing the US in Qatar is an interesting aspect to this all


He needed to match fit for Wales at Real, it didn’t make him try more for Real


He went to Spurs and tried hard before the Euros though


He played one full 90 in his 34 appearances here in 20/21. He was good tbf, with 19 G+A, but spent most of the season recovering from injury and playing against minnows in the cup games.


Felt like he tried though. Maybe mourinhos aversion to playing him suggests otherwise but on the pitch he looked like a player who cared and as an outsider it felt more like he wasn't fit enough rather than him not giving a shit.


He was unreal under Mason, he carried us at the end of the season.


He ended the season with 1.27 goal involvements per 90 in the league. He was an elite flat track bully, but you couldn’t play him in quick succession or much against the better sides where he’d also need to contribute without the ball.


I love how if you look up flat track bully the first 5 pictures are of Lukaku


Damn 19 G+A in 34 games is pretty nuts for a finished player


True. But in LA he'll be revered, whereas in Madrid it was indifference that turned into dislike. The fans'll motivate him, like they do in Wales.


I don’t think it’ll be the same mate


i sure as shit am not going to revere gareth bale just because he used to be good lol if he comes in and reverts to his 2012 form then sure, but we all know he won't. he's 32 and hasn't played regularly in years; he just wants to be able to drive to torrey pines for an early morning tee time


I understand your point but talking about his "2012 form" is kind of odd. Makes it seem like he hasn't been good since then when he literally won real the ucl in 2018


he should go play for the loyal instead haha


He doesn’t care about that. This helps him play for wales at a World Cup. He’ll be motivated until then but beyond that he won’t care


Clutching at straws


He's not even a DP. LAFC working all the angles. It'll sting even more when they lose to the Sounders in the playoffs.


That's if Colorado doesn't knock them out first






4 million people on this sub some say they won't and others say they will...


>He's going to completely phone it in isn't he The MLS won't be a walk in the park if he has that attitude.


MLS might be one of the few "lower skill level" first division leagues to avoid if you're expecting vacation. The physicality, travel, and weather are a huge recipe for disaster for older players looking for an early retirement.


Your first sentence seems to completely contradict your second one but I may just be ignorant


Thanks for the catch! Just corrected it.


[Words out of Steven Gerrard's mouth](https://www.lagalaxy.com/news/steven-gerrard-looking-bounce-back-2016-what-could-be-final-season-his-legendary) > “It could be my last season as a footballer. … I certainly don’t want to feel like I’m feeling right now come next year,” Gerrard told reporters in Seattle last week. “I’d love to go out on a high. It’s a long season and I only came here for the last four months, but I’ll certainly be better for the experience next year.” > “Going on the road, playing on turf, playing at altitude, playing in humidity, those are the hurdles that I’ve had to face over the last three months that I wasn’t aware of. Every away game has a different challenge,” said Gerrard. “At home, we’ve got no problems because we’re very strong and we play well. We’ll always win more than we lose. For us to move forward next year and finish in the top two spots—and avoid games like [Seattle]—we’ve got to be better defensively and stop conceding on set pieces and crosses.” TBF he did play through the next season in 2016, but his 18 months in MLS definitely wasn't anything like his PL days


MLS is a pretty high energy, physical league. If he phones it in he's gonna get the shit kicked out of him. It would be better if he looked like he gave a shit.


I think it'll be the opposite. He will want to be in prime form for the World Cup.


Going to go watch him play at least once.


All that Spanish he didn’t learn at Madrid will come in handy in LA!


Golf course fc here we go!






Holding coming in for whenever we inevitably sell Fall is a dream signing for me


It is a pretty nice hat now that you mention it


LA Country Club is hosting the US Open next summer


I hope he’s happier over there than he was with us, genuinely


Being rich in LA.....can't blame the lad.


If he likes traffic.


Just take a heli


Worked for Kobe.


Why are you getting downvoted when the first Kobe joke is getting upvoted??


Simple google search confirms there are 23 golf courses in LA. He will be like a little boy in candu store.


We have way more than that. He’s gonna have a blast.


Wait until he finally discovers surfing. "Gareth was a good footballer, and a good man. He was one of us. He was a man who loved the outdoors... and golf, and as a surfer he explored the beaches of Southern California, from La Jolla to Leo Carrillo and up to Pismo.’


Wait till he finds out about Palm Springs and Scottsdale both very close by


Great signing for LAFC as the championship in MLS heats up.. They are fighting for the title against NYFC and Salt lake city.. I am surprised LAFC is leading the way and pushing for the title this year.. Their purchases of Chillieni and Bale means they wanna secure the gold


Some of the EU players have complained that it was the size of the US that made MLS harder on the game schedule. 6 hour flight between games.


One of those weird situations you never imagined. But once presented is like "yeah... we all saw it coming."


Damn I need to get my hands on a Madrid shirt with Bale’s name before it’s too late.


It'll be a while until it's too late. You'll be able to get last season's Real Madrid shirts for a while yet, and most big sports shops will do custom printing - so even if you can't get a pre-printed one you can get it customised.


Will be interesting to see how he does over there. Will definitely keep an eye out.


Alexa, tell me what's the best rated Golf Course in Los Angeles, California


He’s Lowkey going to be happy af to speak English with his teammates again. Hopefully he gets the respect of a legend he deserves.


He’s going to be fucking shocked when he realizes how many players are speaking Spanish to each other at LA lol




He might be surprised when basically all of the 3252s songs are Spanish and half the team are talking to each other in Spanish though


As someone who lives in the Bay Area I was low key willing to put money on Bale ending up at the Earthquakes so he can regularly play golf at Pebble Beach. But I suppose there’s golf in LA too


Bale to Monterey Bay Union confirmed.


Not with that ownership group, San Jose wouldn’t!


Until the world cup anyway.


Wales, Golf, LA.


Braian will bench him


Riviera and LA Country Club have probably already got membership applications in from Gareth. Great courses


Sunny California...what better place to prepare for a World Cup than that? I like Gareth, I hope he gets on well in LAFC, and that the move isn't just as a training session for Qatar and that he stays with them longer.


Lord Bale has decided to test his might against Chicharito rather than alongside him, and while I am disappointed, I do respect it.


How did Cardiff fluff this


Because they're a mid-lower table Championship team, and a six month holiday in LA is a bit more appealing. Bale can live the rest of his life in Cardiff.


Honestly I think it shows he just wants a training camp pre World Cup and he didn’t want to do that to his hometown club


Playing for LAFC is considered an upgrade by the majority of players tbh I’d say. Mid level championship team with no hope of ever being good playing in a mid sized city on an island with shite weather vs playing in a world class city for a team that’s always good and plays in a brand new beautiful stadium in a place with perfect weather




I don't think you understand football.


I don’t think you understand that most football players don’t have the same mindset as fat, balding, British men who live in bromshamshire.


Plays against US opponents, good prep for group stage, gets used to playing in the type of dry heat he'll face in qatar, golf courses English speakers,


Get the feeling he turned up at Cardiff and heard Steve Morison’s ideas about football and got on the first plane to Los Angeles.


How many kgs has he shed? Looks over 10... don't remember him ever being this lean, not even at Tottenham.


This is so he can learn the US before World Cup and then dominate us.


Wales. Golf. LAFC. In that order


"Which team is closest to Pebble Beach?"


San Jose Earthquakes would have been closer but your point is taken


Wonder whether he just doesn't care about the big time difference to Qatar. Since it's obvious he's just looking for a nice place to train and prepare himself. But excited to see him hopefully in top form, in the last qualifying matches he seemed gassed pretty early on. Stamina didn't appear to be there for him to play several matches in a few days.


Time to end that career with some nice paid vacations in the MLS.


Tin foil hat time. Bale's primary goal in football now is to stay fit to play for Wales in our first world cup in more than 50 years. MLS is a much easier standard of competition than La Liga or the Championship (Cardiff City). And with the latter, even though it'd be his hometown, he's going to get the shit kicked out of him pretty much every game. So relatively easy league, minimal injury risk and stays match fit in LA with loads of sponsorship opps and golf courses


That's not "tin foil hat" that's just the broadly accepted consensus and most logical explanation as to why this move is happening.


How is that even close to a tinfoil hat theory? It's pretty much an accurate depiction of reality.


Compared to the Championship, MLS is a step down but not entirely so.


> So relatively easy league, I think you are underestimating the physicality of MLS. But I agree other than that! I think this is a smart move for Bale and I’m really looking forward to watching him play over here.


This isn’t 1996, MLS isn’t much different than the championship especially the top teams. There are teams in MLS that would finish near the top of the championship