What’s next for Bale after helping Wales to their first World Cup in 64 years?

Christian Bale Meziesblog

After helping to guide Wales to their first World Cup in 64 years, Gareth Bale joked he would be postponing his retirement “just a little bit”.

Prior to the 1-0 victory over Ukraine in the World Cup play-off final, reports suggested Bale may call it a day if Wales failed to qualify for the major tournament in Qatar.

With the chance of leading out his national side at a first World Cup since 1958, retirement is off the table. But, after winning five Champions Leagues and three La Liga titles at Real Madrid, where will he end up at club level next season?

There has been a lot of speculation about Bale playing for his hometown club Cardiff City, but this comes with challenges.

Forget the financial implications, what about the risk for Bale playing in the Championship? It’s a tough league, if not one of the toughest in the world.

Does Bale need that kind of risk when his ultimate goal is to lead Wales out at the opening game of the World Cup in November against the United States?

Another option to be explored is to play outside of Europe. America and the MLS is potentially another option. Some clubs in the MLS are geographically situated where the climate is sunny and warm, that’s not a bad place to play your football and keep yourself match-fit ahead of the World Cup.

The other parts of any deal to consider include how many games would Bale play and how he would train. He knows his body and has a personal plan in place which works for his needs. That would need to taken into account by any club he may join.

What about the length of any deal? How long does Bale wish to commit to?

Beyond the World Cup would appear unlikely, but Bale has kept his cards close to his chest for several years. Let’s not forget he is one of the most decorated players ever, a supreme talent with his ambition clear: to lead Wales at a World Cup.

In any club vs country debate concerning Bale the answer is very clear.


Sky Sports News reporter Geraint Hughes said, “There’s clearly confirmation that he’s going to continue playing as he needs to keep himself ticking over for this World Cup. He’s a really fit individual anyway, he leads a very healthy lifestyle with a vegan diet and is teetotal as well. There’s no problems from that point.

“With regards to where, I tried to get this out of him on Saturday before the game, he was very polite and gave some answers without saying anything. I’m sure his representatives have options A, B, C and D for him to play football between now and the World Cup. 

“The options are limited, could he play for his hometown club Cardiff in the Championship? Are there Premier League clubs too? He’s only 32 and very fit and healthy apart from a back spasm problem. 

“The other options are abroad – America and the MLS perhaps. There are a number of options. He’s 32 years of age and he’s achieved so much already in his career. There are so many players and leagues who would want him on a short-term contract.”

Could Bale move back to the Premier League?

Bale spent six years at Tottenham before his then-world record transfer to Real Madrid in 2013, scoring 42 Premier League goals in 146 appearances between 2007 and 2013.

An inconsistent loan spell back at Spurs during the 2020/21 Premier League season still saw Bale score 11 goals in 20 appearances, proving the 32-year-old’s goal-scoring capabilities are still sharp.

Bale and his representatives know exactly what they are doing, they are astute and well prepared for all eventualities. Once this June campaign of Nations League fixtures are complete, expect Bale to disappear for a while – he wants a holiday with his family!

Then all the options which his representatives will likely have already outlined will start to be explored further. This will include returning to the Premier League as a number of clubs would not turn down the services of a player of Bale’s ability and stature. The fit will have to work for Bale, though, for that sort of deal to work.

Hartson: Bale would have a lot of offers

Former Wales international John Hartson told Sky Sports News: ”I’d imagine he will have a lot of offers. He would want to keep himself sharp and involved.

”There are rumours that he may play for his hometown club Cardiff City in the Championship. I’d imagine that may sway him because of his love for Wales – his hometown.

”He would have plenty of options. He can still play at the highest level.”