Gareth Bale has become the latest high-profile addition to the ranks in MLS, with the former Tottenham and Real Madrid star deciding to prolong his career at LAFC once dropping into the free agent pool.
The Wales international is heading to the United States after nine years at Santiago Bernabeu that delivered three La Liga titles and five Champions League crowns, with his pedigree without question despite now being 32 years of age.
He has a World Cup finals to look forward to in the colours of his country later this year, but his immediate focus is locked on making a positive impact in California.
What number will he have on his back when opening up that quest? GOAL takes a look…
What will Gareth Bales LAFC shirt number be?
Bale officially announced his decision to join LAFC on June 25, with speculation regarding his next move having raged for some time.See you soon, Los Angeles. ???? @LAFC @LAFC3252 pic.twitter.com/GVP8WVWLPe— Gareth Bale (@GarethBale11) June 25, 2022
The Welshman has told the club’s official website of chasing an American dream: “I am extremely excited for this move to LAFC.
“This is the right place for me and my family and the right time in my career, and I cannot wait to get started working with the team and getting ready to win more trophies in Los Angeles.”
LAFC co-president and general manager John Thorrington has said of the deal: “Gareth is one of the most dynamic and exciting players of his generation.”
No decision has yet been made, though, on the shirt number that Bale will be taking on in Los Angeles.
There are only a handful of roster spots available to him, and numbers 1 and 13 are usually filled by goalkeepers.
The No.20 is still up for grabs, as is 27 and any jersey between 31 and 43, with there a chance that Bale could take his career in squad numbers full circle.
Welcome to Los Angeles, @GarethBale11. ????????????????????????????#LAFC pic.twitter.com/K9UaJ9fU87— LAFC (@LAFC) June 27, 2022Gareth Bale’s squad number history
After bursting onto a senior stage as a precociously-gifted teenager at Southampton, Bale made a breakthrough with the Saints while wearing No.37 – which he could now take in LA.
He moved to 22 during his second season at St Mary’s, before going on to fill No.16 after earning a move to Tottenham.
Bale was regarded as a left-back at that time, with it no surprise when he was moved to the No.3 spot at Spurs.Article continues below
After proving himself as a devastating winger, he would go on to take No.11 in north London and made a point of inhering that shirt again once completing a record-breaking transfer to Real Madrid in 2013.
Bale donned that jersey with distinction for seven seasons, reaching 100 goals for the Blancos, before returning to Tottenham on loan in 2020-21 and taking their No.9.
Upon his return to Madrid, the Wales international had to make do with No.18 and made just seven appearances during his final campaign in the Spanish capital.
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