Gareth Bale insists he’s not winding down career in official LAFC unveiling – and targets Euro 2024 and World Cup 2026


GARETH BALE has set his sights on playing at the 2024 Euros AND the 2026 World Cup.

The Wales captain, who turns 33 this week, was officially unveiled as an LAFC player last night after his Real Madrid contract expired.

Gareth Bale has signed an initial one-year deal with the MLS outfit, with the option of an 18-month extension, but many expected November’s World Cup in Qatar – Wales’ first global finals in 64 years – to be his swansong.

But Gareth Bale has not ruled out the next Euros in Germany or the 2026 World Cup in USA, Canada and Mexico.

Bale, who trained with his new LAFC team-mates for the first time on Monday, said: “I haven’t come here for the short-term. I am still 32.

“I still have many years to come and I haven’t come here just to be here for six months or 12 months. I want to be here for as long as possible.

“I want to do as well as I can to make my mark on this league and this team and I am looking forward to the future. It’s not just a short thing.

“Also, this gives me the best opportunity to make it to the Euros and, you never know, maybe further one more. My plan is to work hard.”

Gareth Bale is Wales’ record goalscorer and has played in two Euros finals already.

The ex-Tottenham star forward has won 106 caps and scored 40 goals for his country since his debut in 2006.

Bale had been linked with a return to the Premier League and his hometown club Cardiff after his glittering nine-year spell with Real, where he won five Champions League finals, came to an end.

But on deciding to play for LAFC – a club only formed in 2018 – Bale added: “This club is special.

“It became very clear this place is where I wanted to be and it is incredible how they have made this amazing environment for the fans.

“Hopefully I can play my part in taking the club to the next level and winning trophies.

“I have watched the MLS for a long time and the standard is really increasing, a lot better than people in Europe really think.”

Asked about facing incoming DC United manager Wayne Rooney, Bale said: “I am definitely excited.

“This is a league that has really grown and come along way in the past ten years.

“Everybody is striving forward to improve this league and the players that come over see that as well.

“I don’t think anyone sees this as a retirement league. It is physically demanding.

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