Gareth Bale introduced to Los Angeles FC supporters - in pictures

Welshman, 32, met his new side for the first time since agreeing a 12-month contract to move to Major League Soccer last month

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Wales captain Gareth Bale said his new Los Angeles FC teammates made him feel at home "straight away" and is convinced he has made the right move.

Bale, 32, met his new side for the first time since agreeing a 12-month contract to move to Major League Soccer last month.

Just hours after arriving in southern California, Bale watched LAFC defeat the visiting Los Angeles Galaxy 3-2 in his first taste of the "El Trafico" derby.

"It just felt really like the right thing to do," Bale said. "It felt like home straight away.

"Seeing the fans live for the first time has more than kept me awake," Bale told match broadcaster ESPN. "What an incredible reception I had when I came in. Just excited to get started and play in front of these incredible fans."

The 32-year-old former Real Madrid and Tottenham forward was eligible to play but had barely met his teammates.

Supporters settled for watching the five-time Champions League winner smile and wave to them, the crowd chanting his name before the match.

In June, Bale helped Wales reach the World Cup for the first time in 64 years.

Bale said he is ready for the mix of his US adventure and preparing for the Qatar World Cup later this year.

"The best prep is to play games," Bale said. "I want to come here. I want to play games and make my stamp and do as best I can to try and help LAFC win a trophy."

With his contract at Real Madrid up following nine trophy-laden years Bale held talks with hometown club Cardiff City before agreeing a move to LAFC.

"It was many things. It wasn't just one thing in particular," Bale said about his move to the MLS. "We had a chat on Zoom about multiple things I could come in and offer - what I can do in football."

The Welsh player said he could "help with the youngsters because it's a very young team here, give them advice, seeing what I do in terms of professional standard and try to help them."

"Just the project they have here is really amazing. They have a lot of great young players trying to develop. The club is really on the rise.

"It's very new but it's something that's really glamorous. It's just a very attractive club."

LAFC, the overall MLS leader, visit Nashville and Kansas City over the next two weeks before next playing at home on July 29 against Seattle.

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Updated: July 09, 2022, 8:50 AM
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