Watch: Gareth Bale receives incredible reception at LAFC
The atmosphere was already red hot ahead of El Tráfico – the derby clash between Los Angeles’ two MLS teams – LAFC and LA Galaxy.
However, when new LAFC signing Gareth Bale stepped out on the pitch at the Banc of California Stadium the place erupted.
Bale, who had ended his Real Madrid career suffering jeers and whistles from the fickle Spanish crowd, must have loved the sound of fans chanting and cheering his name.
He is of course, used to this sort of fanatical love-in from Welsh fans, but not in recent times at club level.
Bale arrived at the ground first meeting players and staff, including fellow new signing, Italian legend Giorgio Chellini.
.@GarethBale11 to #LAFC confirmed. pic.twitter.com/ZkjPLIWqAt
— LAFC (@LAFC) July 9, 2022
Asked about his initial thoughts, he said: “Amazing. Driving in was bit surreal, it was nice to see all the fans gathered together. Everything has been so impressive. Changing room looks incredible.”
Once out on the pitch, the reception he received was immense.
Applauding the fans he was introduced to the crowd to a soundtrack of supporters chanting his name, while the stadium announcer listed his many achievements and described him as ‘one of Wales’ greatest ever players’.
He’s here. And he’s perfect. 🤩@GarethBale11 meets the @LAFC3252. 👋 pic.twitter.com/9UK8m0s7uw
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 9, 2022
Gran ovación para el nuevo delantero del @LAFC @GarethBale11 en el @BancStadium #LAFC #GarethBale pic.twitter.com/27kyJzsUhY
— Felipe Valenzuela (@ValenzuelaFelip) July 9, 2022
🔝Gareth Bale es presentado con toda la afición en su nuevo equipo, el @LAFC pic.twitter.com/WOilT5puLf
— Carlos Cornejo 🇪🇨 (@carloscornejoec) July 9, 2022
.@GarethBale11 🤝 @LAFC3252 pic.twitter.com/4sniHsA9iK
— LAFC (@LAFC) July 9, 2022
Gareth Bale steps onto the @LAFC pitch ahead of the LAFC vs. @LAGalaxy 'El Trafico'
#LAFC #LAFCvLA I @kslsports pic.twitter.com/zdKNfMb269
— Andy Muñoz (@andyxmunoz) July 9, 2022
.@GarethBale11 in the building 🙌🏼 pic.twitter.com/sodipkBFMz
— Vincent Samperio (@VinceSamperio) July 9, 2022
Gareth Bale’s presentation at his new home, Los Angeles. #LAFC pic.twitter.com/wUpvxnfGZU
— Eduard Cauich (@ecauich) July 9, 2022
There were also Welsh scarves worn by fans and Wales flags draped over fences, as the crowd conducted nothing short of a total love-in with their new hero.
It was a fitting first game for the Welshman to witness live, with LAFC triumphing 3-2 over LA Galaxy and extending their lead at the top of the MLS Western Conference.
Bale will no doubt be purring over the thought of getting started in a league where he will unquestionably shine.
If the reception he received today is any measure the LAFC fans are going to love him.
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