Is anyone surprised?
The 33-year-old captain has steered Wales to their first World Cup in 64 years, ending a drought that stretches back to the 1958 tournament. Bale is the face of the Red Dragons, tallying 39 goals across 108 appearances.
Bale’s World Cup journey starts on Nov. 21, the tournament's second day, against the United States. Then Wales will play Iran (Nov. 25) and England (Nov. 29) to close Group B play, with the top two finishers advancing to the 16-team knockout round.
To reach Qatar, Wales overcame Ukraine last June in a UEFA playoff match. They also beat Austria in the previous playoff stage.
Bale joined LAFC this past June after leaving a trophy-filled career at LaLiga powerhouse side Real Madrid. He's been somewhat hampered by injuries with the Black & Gold, scoring twice in 12 regular-season games (two starts),
But Bale stepped up massively against the Philadelphia Union in MLS Cup last weekend, scoring one of the biggest goals in Audi MLS Cup Playoffs history – a towering 128th-minute header that sealed a 3-3 draw and eventual victory on penalty kicks. That gave the Supporters' Shield winners a historic double.