If Gareth Bale thinks he’s heading to Major League Soccer for an easy ride, he may be in for a harsh reality check.
That’s according to new LAFC teammate Carlos Vela, who has warned the Welshman that MLS is ‘not an easy league’, despite regular derision from the outside.
“Well this league is very physical,” said Vela, who signed a contract extension as a Designated Player through 2023 on Tuesday.
“If Bale is in good shape and comes with a good mentality and attitude, he will be very important because he is a big player that comes from Real Madrid so I don’t have to talk much about him. Everyone knows how good Bale is.
“The only thing I can say is that he will have to work hard because MLS is not an easy league like many people think.”
Bale has joined LAFC on a 12-month contract with an option for a further 18 months after bringing his eight-and-a-half-year spell with Real Madrid to an end at the conclusion of the 2021/22 season.
In Spain, Bale lifted five Uefa Champions Leagues and three La Liga titles, scoring 106 goals in 258 appearances across all competitions – including in multiple major finals. The Wales international will certainly bring plenty of pedigree to an already talented LAFC team, which will be further strengthened by the arrival of legendary Italian center-back Giorgio Chiellini.
Bale – who won’t take up one of LAFC’s three DP spots – will be keen to maintain form at fitness ahead of Wales’ World Cup campaign in Qatar later this year – their first appearance at the tournament since 1958.
With that in mind, he’d do well to listen to Vela’s advice given the Mexican has spent five seasons in MLS, breaking the regular-season goalscoring record in 2019 with 34 goals in 31 appearances to help LAFC win the Supporters’ Shield.
Bale joins the Black and Gold at a time when they lead the overall standings by four points, winning 10 of their 16 games so far this season.