The Real deal – what pedigree will Gareth Bale bring to Los Angeles FC?

The Wales captain is preparing to move to Major League Soccer.
The Real deal – what pedigree will Gareth Bale bring to Los Angeles FC?

By Tom White, PA Sport Data Journalist

Gareth Bale will take his 200-plus career goals to the United States this summer after agreeing a deal to sign for Los Angeles FC.

As the Wales captain prepares to move to Major League Soccer, the PA news agency looks at his career goalscoring record.

In England

Gareth Bale celebrates a hat-trick against Aston Villa in 2012
Gareth Bale’s first spell at Tottenham established him as a star (David Davies/PA)

Appearances: 282
Goals: 77

Beginning his career with Southampton in the Championship, Bale earned a move to Premier League side Tottenham in 2007 and established himself as a world-class talent.

He scored five goals in 45 Saints appearances despite operating primarily as a left-back, the position in which he also began his Spurs career before moving forward to the wing and eventually into the forward line.

After notching only 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 leaving for Real Madrid with a record of 56 goals in 203 games for Tottenham.

He of course returned to Spurs on loan for the majority of the 2020-21 season, producing spells of his old form as he scored 11 league goals and 16 in 34 games in all competitions.

Real Madrid

Gareth Bale scores Real Madrid’s second goal against Liverpool in the 2018 Champions League final
Bale scored one of his most memorable goals in Real Madrid’s 2018 Champions League final win over Liverpool (Peter Byrne/PA)

Appearances: 258
Goals: 106

Firmly established as an elite attacking talent by the time of his move to Spain, Bale hit double figures in LaLiga in four of his first five seasons before falling out of favour.

He scored 22 for Real in 2013-14 – including six in the Champions League, his best ever return in Europe – while his 19 club goals in 2015-16 all came in the league.

His 21 in all competitions in 2017-18 represents that last time he passed 20 goals in a season, with just 11 league goals for Real after that point – and the same again during his temporary Spurs return.

He did reach 14 in all competitions in 2018-19, 14 including a Club World Cup hat-trick against Kashima Antlers, but just three and one in his final two Real seasons.

His 106 goals for the club featured three in Champions League finals, including a memorable brace against Liverpool in 2018.


Gareth Bale celebrates scoring Wales' second goal against Austria in World Cup qualifying
Bale is Wales’ record scorer and has been instrumental in their recent major tournament qualifications (Nick Potts/PA)

Appearances: 106
Goals: 39

Bale is his country’s captain, talisman and record goalscorer, passing 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 ever 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 all-time list.

His first goal came against Slovakia as a 17-year-old and he has scored prolifically in qualifying campaigns for successive major tournaments, most notably Euro 2016 where he got seven in the preliminary campaign and three more at the finals – Wales’ first major tournament since 1958.

A hat-trick against Belarus and a play-off brace against Austria were instrumental in ending Wales’ 64-year wait for a World Cup appearance, even if he was not credited with the Andriy Yarmolenko own goal which ultimately saw them past Ukraine and into November’s tournament in Qatar.

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