Gareth Bale’s advice to Lionel Messi ahead of MLS transfer

Former LAFC star Gareth Bale has described MLS as a ‘lot more chilled’ than the elite European leagues as Lionel Messi prepares to join Inter Miami.

Messi rejected the opportunity to return to former club Barcelona, despite admitting it was initially his preferred option, as well as a bumper pay day in Saudi Arabia, in order to give himself a different kind of new challenge in North America.

Bale made a similar move in 2022 when his Real Madrid contract ended. The Welshman, who had long been the subject of much angst from the Spanish press, joined LAFC midway through the MLS season and helped the club win the rare Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup double.

Now retired, the 33-year-old’s main advice to Messi is that losing is a ‘bit more acceptable’.

“It is a lot more chilled. If you lose at Real Madrid, it is like the world has ended. You are crucified. You feel down. You go home and you’re not happy,” he told BT Sport.


“They accept losing a bit more. There is no consequence. You can’t get relegated over there. When you lose a game you go on to the next one. They accept losing a lot better over there.

“They know how to lose but they celebrate every win like you have won the championship. He will definitely enjoy it.”

That more ‘chilled’ existence could extend to off the pitch as well, with lifestyle appearing to have been among the factors in Messi choosing Miami over elsewhere.

Back in 2020, then San Jose Earthquakes head coach and former Argentina international Matias Almeyda told 90min why he thought MLS would be a good move for Messi in the future – and it had everything to do with being able to recapture a degree of normality in his family life.

“The U.S. is a big country,” Almeyda told 90min at the time. “It has 350m inhabitants, I think. The stars here can walk in peace in the street. Each person who wants a life can enjoy what he likes [and] will live a different life.

“For [Messi], for his children, for his wife, he will be able to walk, to ride a bicycle, he will be able to go to the supermarket. He won’t be under that fame that turns you into a slave, you know? That’s why I think [USA] could be a good place for him. In that way, you turn to be a normal human again. All the players that want to be normal pick this place.”

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