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'Bale always wants to speak Spanish!' - LAFC star Sanchez says ex-Real Madrid star is a perfect fit

19:57 GMT+4 01/08/2022
Gareth Bale LAFC
The Spanish midfielder discussed his new superstar teammate and his own love for the United States

LAFC midfielder Ilie Sanchez says that Gareth Bale fits right in at the club, adding that the former Real Madrid star only speaks Spanish to many of his teammates.

Bale was often criticised by the Spanish press, who alleged that Bale had little desire to master the language despite his extended stay in Madrid.

However, Bale showed off his fluent Spanish upon being signed by LAFC, and Sanchez says that the multilingual Wales star has already become a major figure with his teammates.

What was said?

"It has been a confidence boost," Sanchez told AS of Bale's signing. "That a footballer of his enormous level has decided to come highlights our project, I admit it, when you see that he is now your team-mate, that makes us push a little harder to compete and to try to win. And everything we have seen and felt with him is pure commitment. He wants to help us win titles.

"Gareth speaks to me in Spanish. I am the only Spaniard, but there are a lot of South American and Central Americans in the squad. And he just wants to speak Spanish with us. In fact, sometimes we speak to him in English and he answers us in Spanish! 

"He is involved. The other day he went through the welcoming rite at the stadium cheering the fans on with the megaphone. We also did it to [Giorgio] Chiellini. He looks happy."

Sanchez's international future?

The Spanish midfielder has been a mainstay in MLS since joining Sporting KC in 2017, establishing himself as one of the best midfielders in MLS in the years since.

Sanchez has been named an MLS All-Star for the second time this season and will represent LAFC at the annual game against the Liga MX All-Stars on August 10.

Now in his fifth year in the U.S., the Barcelona-born midfielder will receive his citizenship later this year and could, theoretically, play for the U.S. men's national team.

"Yes, I have been in the United States for almost six years and when I arrived in Kansas City they gave me a green residence card," he said. "From there, after five years you can apply for citizenship and a passport. I will do it in September. I have to take an exam and I want to integrate even more here.

"It would be a unique opportunity [to play for the USMNT]. I doubt that it will happen, I don't know, it is also true that I doubted being in the All-Star and it has happened...

"Many factors have to be met that are not in my hands. Once you have the passport, we'll talk."