Gareth Bale is no longer playing for Real Madrid. The Welshman sent a letter to Madrid and the club’s fans on Wednesday, thanking them for their support during his nine years at the Santiago Bernabéu.
Bale’s contract with Real Madrid ends on June 30. At 32, he still has time on his side, and if Wales qualify for the World Cup this year, he wants to play. For a spot in Qatar, Wales will play the winner of Scotland and Ukraine.
Cardiff a possible destination
The Athletic said that Bale could play for Cardiff City or Swansea City to stay in shape before the World Cup.
Bale is from Cardiff, but he has never played for the club. Steve Morison, the manager of Cardiff, recently said that Gareth Bale told him to make sure that Cardiff beat Swansea City in the last South Wales Derby.
Both teams are currently in the Championship, which is one of the toughest leagues in the world. Even a six-month deal would get Bale to the World Cup, as long as he doesn’t get hurt again and Wales beats either Scotland or Ukraine.
Since he was one of Madrid’s highest-paid players, the Wales captain would have to take a huge pay cut to join a Championship team.
Bale could also play in the MLS if the league keeps looking for ways to grow its brand. DC United has reportedly shown interest in the forward and has already talked with Bale’s agents.
Bale spent some time on loan with his old team, Tottenham Hotspur, in 2020-21. He probably won’t go back to Spurs, though, since Antonio Conte has added Ivan Perisic to his left-wing team.
Five Champions Leagues
Last Saturday, when Real Madrid beat Liverpool to win the Champions League, Bale got his fifth Champions League winners medal.
His time in Madrid was cut short by injuries, but the list of titles he won in the Spanish capital shows how successful he was with Los Blancos in less than a decade.
On Saturday, when Bale waved goodbye at the Santiago Bernabéu during the club’s Champions League celebrations, the crowd cheered.
It is still not clear where he will work next season. Given how often he got hurt, it also wouldn’t be a big surprise if he retired early.