Gareth Bale: What’s next for the Wales international after nine successful years at Real Madrid? | Football news
After helping Wales to their first World Cup in 64 years, Gareth Bale joked that he would postpone his retirement “for a bit”.
Before 1-0 win over Ukraine during the World Cup play-off final, reports suggested that Bale could call it a day if Wales fail to make it through to the major tournament in Qatar.
With the opportunity to lead his national team at a World Cup for the first time since 1958, retirement is indisputable. But, after winning five Champions League and three La Liga titles at Real Madrid, where will he end up at club level next season?
Bale’s next move – Cardiff? MLS?
Sky Sports’ Geraint Hughes:
There has been a lot of speculation about Bale playing for hometown club Cardiff City, but this comes with challenges.
Forget financial ties, what about the risk for Bale playing in the Championship? It’s a tough tournament, if not one of the toughest in the world.
Does Bale need to take such risks when his ultimate goal is to lead Wales in November’s World Cup opener against the United States?
Another option that needs to be explored is playing outside of Europe. US and MLS are likely another option. Some of the clubs in the MLS are geographically located, where the climate is sunny and warm, it’s not a bad place to play your football and keep yourself fit before the World Cup.
Other parts of any deal to consider include how many games Bale will play and how he will train. He knows his body and has a personal plan that fits his needs. That will need to be taken into account by any clubs he may join.
What about the length of any deal? How long does Bale want to commit?
Outside of the World Cup it will be difficult to appear, but Bale has kept his card in his chest for several years. Let’s not forget he is one of the most highly rated players ever, a supreme talent with a clear ambition: to lead Wales at a World Cup.
In any club-to-country debate involving Bale, the answer is clear.
Can Bale return to the Premier League?
Bale spent six years at Tottenham before transferring his then-world record to Real Madrid in 2013, scoring 42 Premier League goals in 146 appearances between 2007 and 2013.
An unsettled loan spell back to Spurs during the 2020/21 Premier League season still saw Bale score 11 goals in 20 appearances, proving the 32-year-old striker’s scoring ability is still very sharp. .
Sports Sky’ Geraint Hughes:
Bale and his agents know exactly what they are doing, they are sharp and well prepared for any eventuality. When this June’s Nations League fixture campaign is complete, let’s hope Bale is gone for a while – he wants a vacation with his family!
After that, all the options his agent may have outlined will begin to be explored further. This will include a return to the Premier League as some clubs will not turn down a player of Bale’s ability and stature. The fit would have to work for Bale, though, for that deal to work.
Hartson: Bale will have a lot of offers
Former Wales international John Hartson told Sky Sports News: ”I imagine he will have a lot of offers. He wants to keep himself sharp and engaged.
There are rumors that he could play for hometown club Cardiff City in the Championship. I imagine that might shake him because of his love for Wales – his homeland.
”He will have a lot of options. He can still play at the highest level. ”
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When and where will the 2022 World Cup take place?
World Cup 2022 in Qatar opens Monday, November 21 at Al Thumama Stadium when SenegaI undertake the Netherlands in Group A, followed by the server Qatar against Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium.