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The gracious message LAFC player sent Gareth Bale on handing over shirt number

13 Jul 2022 3 minute read
Bale with his trademark number 11 shirt (Credit: LAFC)

When Gareth Bale was unveiled to the world’s media on Monday evening, one of the many questions that were asked was – what number shirt would Bale wear.

Traditionally he has worn number 11, however that number was already taken by Ecuadorian midfielder José Cifuentes.

Nevertheless, the player was happy to hand the much prized number over to his new superstar teammate, posting on Instagram why he was more than delighted to do so.

He wrote: “The #11 has accompanied my career at LAFC from the beginning and although it is special and has an important meaning, I have decided to give it to Gareth, who has used that number much longer than me.

“My interest is to contribute so that my teammates, the club and the fans feel supported by me and with this gesture I want to demonstrate that. Let’s stay together because we need each other to achieve the goals.”


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A post shared by José Cifuentes (@josec_51)

As soon as out was announced that Bale would wear number 11, shirts with the Welshman’s name and number on the back went on sale with prices starting at an eye-watering $165 for an authentic player jersey.

Still this hasn’t stopped shirts flying out. An initial run sold out, but an immediate restock has since taken place.

Speaking at the press conference earlier this week the Welshman said he believes his move into Major League Soccer will help extend his international career to the 2024 European Championships and beyond.

Bale was unveiled by Los Angeles FC on Monday having agreed a one-year deal which will help his preparations for Wales’ World Cup finals appearance in Qatar.

But Bale, who turns 33 at the end of this week, revealed he has longer-term ambitions with LA and sees no reason why he will not remain Stateside well beyond the terms of his current deal.

Bale said: “I haven’t come here just to be here for six or 12 months, I’ve come here to try to be here as long as possible.

“I want to try to leave my mark on this team, and being here gives me the best possible chance to make it to the Euros and maybe one more. I feel like I’m here to play a big part.”

Gareth Bale pictured with LAFC supporters (Credit: LAFC)

The Welsh star had his first training session with his new LA team-mates on Monday, and could be in line to make his debut for the Western Conference leaders against Nashville next week.

“It was nice to get started because it’s been a while and I was eager to get going,” he added. “I need to get some training under my belt but the players were really welcoming.

“Hopefully I can help to improve the team and we’ll see – our goal is to try to win a trophy and a Championship.”

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