Gareth Bale to LAFC is just another trade deal


Gareth Bale’s arrival in Los Angeles as LAFC’s newest and second-longest member has been described as a shock to those who forgot the club signed Giorgio Chiellini, 37, two weeks ago. Chiellini, however, is coming for the usual reasons that anyone comes to the United States to play soccer (depressurized money), while Bale is coming for an additional reason: to be in top form for the Hell World Cup in November.

Put it this way. It’s not for the greatest glory of LAFC in its long (ie five years) and obsessive (ie one conference final and two first-round losses) quest for the elegant MLS Cup. It is a commercial agreement, since most of these contracts are between 30 and more.

It is also the fruit of Bale’s long-desired escape from Real Madrid, where he was vilified into disuse for the crime of not being the Bale who consistently proved his worth at Tottenham. In fact, at the end of March, veteran Spanish columnist, poet and essayist Manuel Julia greeted him with a chain mail backhand after Barcelona crushed the team 4-0, most prominently a caricature of Bale as A tick. and this flight of poison:


“The Bale parasite comes from the cold and rains of Great Britain. He settled in Spain, at Real Madrid, where, disguising his intentions, he first showed diligence and love for the pitch, but soon his nature led him to suck blood without giving anything in return. More than blood, he sucked, and sucked, the club’s euros. Unlike others of its kind, such as the flea, the louse or the bedbug, the Bale parasite does not cause pain or dizziness in its grass, but after sucking it, between smiles and mischief, it shows an ironic contempt for that grass. from which he lives. He laughs, he claps his hands, he throws himself on the ground, he sings, in a kind of humiliating ceremony, which, at least, finally comes to an end, like all misfortunes.”

Bill Plaschke is unlikely to greet Bale in a similar way in the still printed pages of the Los Angeles Times. In all likelihood, he’ll write about Tony Gonsolin or the Lakers’ chances of getting Kevin Durant. But he knows his readers better than we do.

Bale is a curious case in that he chose not to play for Welsh club Cardiff City and the Championship’s devastating betrayals for pre-World Cup adulation, nor for Newcastle United for Saudi money and marketing opportunities. prior to the World Cup. . He’s going to LAFC, which, forgive the impudence given its place atop the Western Conference table, still looks like it should be pronounced Laugh C. It’s a relatively new club in a city that already has a team (LA Galaxy) and, while he seems to have bigger ambitions (see Bale), he’s still an off-brand pick whose biggest draw is that Bale won’t catch much stick (see Steve Nicol’s casually southpaw approval) unless he’s just awful.

If this seems to disdain MLS, well, it probably is. Don’t get me wrong, or don’t get me wrong completely; What the hell do I care? MLS is light years from where it was even a decade ago, but it remains both a beneficiary and a victim of North America’s newfound love of soccer at its highest heights (Europe) rather than in its local media. MLS is growing steadily enough to find a place, even if the eurosnob part of the audience still has more influence. What it lacks in storyline seriousness it makes up for on pitches to find one’s fitness, checks they clear and fan bases who don’t care about Europe’s least sloppy thirds, fourths or fifths.

Which brings us to Bale, or what’s left of Bale. He’s been at it for 15 years since he started his first and most successful run at Spurs. Although he was never embraced in Madrid (hell, he was considered a vermin) he still spent eight years, with the necessary wear and tear that he creates. His main role at LAFC will be to prepare for Wales as he earns around $2 million as a specific assignment as Chiellini and contributes what he can for the conference leaders. Hey, everyone knows what he’s up to. If he likes it, maybe he will stay beyond this season. At least his days of being compared to a parasitic arachnid were behind him. Probably.