The Real deal – what pedigree will Gareth Bale bring to Los Angeles FC?
Gareth Bale will take his 200+ career goals to the United States this summer after agreeing a deal to sign for Los Angeles FC.
As the Wales captain prepares to join Major League Soccer, the PA news agency takes a look at his career goalscoring record.
Starting his career with Southampton in the Championship, Bale transferred to Tottenham in the Premier League in 2007 and established himself as a world-class talent.
He scored five goals in 45 appearances for Saints while operating primarily as a left-back, a position in which he also started his career at Spurs before moving to the wing and eventually into the front line.
After scoring just six goals in his first three seasons in north London, he hit double figures in the next two and then 26, including 21 in the Premier League, in a career-best 2012-13 campaign before to leave for Real Madrid with a record. 56 goals in 203 games for Tottenham.
He has of course returned to Spurs on loan for the majority of the 2020-21 season, producing spells of his old form as he has scored 11 league goals and 16 in 34 games in all competitions.
Firmly established as an elite attacking talent by the time of his move to Spain, Bale hit double figures in La Liga in four of his first five seasons before falling out of favor.
He scored 22 goals for Real in 2013-14 – including six in the Champions League, his best return in Europe – while his 19 club goals in 2015-16 all came in the league.
His 21 goals in all competitions in 2017-18 represents the last time he scored 20 goals in a season, with just 11 league goals for Real after that point – and the same on his temporary return from Spurs.
He reached 14 in all competitions in 2018-19, 14 including a hat-trick in the Club World Cup against Kashima Antlers, but only three and one in his last two real seasons.
His 106 goals for the club included three in the Champions League final, including a memorable brace against Liverpool in 2018.
Bale is his country’s captain, talisman and top scorer, surpassing Ian Rush’s previous Wales record of 28 with a hat-trick against China in March 2018.
He made his debut aged 16 in 2006 and was their youngest player at the time, a record since broken by Harry Wilson, and his longevity sees him trail only Chris Gunter’s 109 caps in the list. all the time.
His first goal came against Slovakia aged 17 and he scored prolifically in qualifying campaigns for successive major tournaments including Euro 2016 where he netted seven in the preliminary campaign and three more in the final – Wales’ first major tournament. since 1958.
A hat-trick against Belarus and a brace against Austria helped end Wales’ 64-year wait for a World Cup appearance, although he was not credited with the goal against his Andriy Yarmolenko’s camp which finally saw them overtake Ukraine and enter the November Tournament in Qatar.