Gareth Bale has revealed he’s happy with the progress he’s making with LAFC as he continues to build up fitness for Wales’ World Cup campaign later this year.
The 33-year-old made an eyebrow-raising move to the Black and Gold following a glittering spell in Spain with Real Madrid in order to stay sharp ahead of Qatar 2022.
Bale has already made a couple of telling contributions for LAFC, scoring twice in 11 MLS appearances. However, only two of those have come from the start, while the forward is yet to play more than 62 minutes in a single match.
But given Bale has come from a position of barely playing during his final year in Madrid, that’s perfectly natural. The 106-time international is fully aware that gaining fitness is a gradual process.
“We’re on a good path to where I want to be,” said Bale. “I want to play 90 minutes as much as I can, but I understand I need to build up to that because I haven’t done it an awful lot in the last few years.
“The most important thing for me is to take each week as it comes and hopefully that will be good enough for me to help LAFC and, ultimately, be ready for the World Cup.”
The former Spurs man added: “We have a plan in LA with what we’re doing. We’re not doing too much straight away. Every footballer wants to play as much as they can, but we’re being clever and building myself up for the last important part of the season. Hopefully, that should put me in great shape for the World Cup.”
After such a turbulent time in Madrid, it’s been refreshing to see Bale focusing on enjoying his soccer again, and Wales boss Robert Page has noticed a big difference in his star player.
“It’s oozing out of him, so you can see it’s been the right move for him and his family,” Page said of Bale’s happiness. “Whether it’s the lifestyle, or the welcome he got from his own players. Who wouldn’t want to go into training every day? We talk about the environment he works in here with Wales, but he seems to get that when in LA.
“The family are happy, he’s got them with him and it seems like he’s back enjoying his football albeit he’s not playing 90 minutes, 90 minutes. He knew that when he went over there. He knew that he wasn’t going to be playing week in, week out.”
Bale is currently on international duty for Wales’ Uefa Nations League fixtures against Belgium and Poland, serving as the final warm-up before they open their World Cup campaign against the United States on November 21.
Watch the story of Charlotte FC’s journey to MLS in 90min’s The Making of Charlotte FC, presented by DoorDash, on 90min channels now. Subscribe to our new US YouTube channel.