Gareth Bale insists he has not joined Los Angeles FC for the 'short-term' and instead wants to play a 'big part' in the club's long-term future.
After a tumultuous spell with Real Madrid, where he went from winning the Champions League to being frozen out of the first-team frame, Bale finally managed to secure a move away and signed for LAFC on a free transfer in June - a deal which has the option of a further year until 2024.
The 32-year-old forward took part in his first press conference at the club's stadium on Monday, having seen his new team defeat rivals LA Galaxy just days before, after which he was paraded around the pitch to supporters.
Premier League
Haaland! Messi! Spurs! Man Utd… Football, football, everywhere – The Warm-Up
08/08/2022 AT 07:10
Bale, fuelled by excitement and optimism for his future across the pond, has been quick to play down chatter that he joined LAFC to ensure he is fit enough to feature for Wales at upcoming international tournaments.
"Being here gives me the best possible chance to make it to the Euros and, you never know, maybe one more," Bale said. "I still have many years to come. I haven't come here just to be here for six or 12 months. I've come here to try and be here as long as possible."
"I want to do as well as I can, make my mark on this league and this team, and I'm looking forward to the future. It's not just a short thing. It gives me the best opportunity to keep going to the next Euros, maybe further."
Bale spoke fondly of Major League Soccer, something he says he has watched closely over time, and dismissed criticism regarding the standard of the competition where he believes great improvements are being made.
"I've watched MLS for a long time. The time difference makes it difficult but I always tried to watch it on TV, said Bale." The standard here is really increasing and it's a lot better than people in Europe think. The league is improving, the stadiums are improving, the teams are improving so it's a league that's really on the rise."
"I don't think anyone sees it [MLS] now as a retirement league. It's physical, it's demanding. "This club is new but it feels like it's been here forever. I'm looking forward to being a part of it."
Fans around the world will be eagerly awaiting the Welshman's debut for his new side, with Bale having met his team-mates and trained with the squad, as the next chapter of his career looks set to begin.
Man City turn to Cucurella after Arsenal agree terms for Zinchenko – Paper Round
18/07/2022 AT 22:03
No homecoming but a Real great gets his Hollywood ending - The Warm-Up
27/06/2022 AT 06:54