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´Happy and settled´ Bale hints at Real Madrid acrimony after first LAFC goal

SoccerNews in MLS 24 Jul 2022

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Gareth Bale is “happy and settled” at Los Angeles FC after a first goal for the club, with the Wales star’s comments further hinting at Real Madrid acrimony.

Bale ended his near-decade-long association with another pair of titles in La Liga and the Champions League last term, but once more cut a peripheral figure at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Having spent the 2020-21 season back on loan with former club Tottenham, the forward made only 12 appearances last season for Madrid. 

But Bale marked his 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 added a possible jibe at his Madrid treatment, 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.

“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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