Wales legend Gareth Bale sported his new haircut in front of thousands of adoring fans at Los Angeles FC's derby clash with Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday.

Just over a year on from the former Real Madrid and Tottenham forward's stunning retirement announcement, he visited the club with whom he ended his career. He helped to steer LA FC to the MLS Cup, netting a dramatic 128th-minute equaliser in the final against Philadelphia Union before his side won on penalties.

It would be his last involvement in football and it brought down the curtain on a glittering career which saw him earn 111 caps for Wales and win 18 trophies. He retired at the age of 33.

READ MORE: Gareth Bale's new life and haircut, one year on from stunning announcement

READ MORE: Gareth Bale tells Jude Bellingham to be a Real Madrid 'puppet' if he is to avoid appalling 'attacks'

Since then, Bale has delved even deeper into his big passion of golf and has been seen teeing it up at Pro-Am events around the world. He also made an appearance at the Ryder Cup in September and added another trophy to his vast collection, winning the Ryder Cup All-Star match alongside tennis legend Novak Djokovic and professional golfer Colin Montgomerie.

Bale teamed up with Montgomerie in a seven-hole event and beat the duo of professional Corey Pavin and fellow ex-footballer Andriy Shevchenko 2-1. He also has a number of other business ventures, which you can read more about here.

It's been all change for Bale in recent months, including far more family time and, recently, the end of that iconic top-knot.

And both his family and his new hair cut were in attendance at the BMO Stadium as his old side LA FC, whose goalkeeper is now Bale's former team-mate at Spurs, Hugo Lloris, beat their city rivals to move up to fifth place in the MLS Western Conference.

The ex-Wales captain now has far shorter hair — above shoulder length, but still has enough there to slick it back. He posted photos to his 53 million followers on Instagram of him and his children at the game as he was paraded in front of supporters.

Bale was also in charge of the club mascot — a falcon — as per a pre-match tradition. The 34-year-old slipped a gauntlet on his arm for LA FC's mascot falcon to perch on, before the bird flew away.

The "honorary falconer programme" is a pre-match ritual at LA FC. It is deemed a celebration of flight and is meant to represent the club's style of play – "fast, aggressive and relentless", according to their website. Other falconers ahead of matches have included Will Ferrell, Meghan Trainor, Danny Trejo, Ty Burrell, Sophia Bush and Mia Hamm. LA FC went on to beat Galaxy 2-1.

Gareth Bale alongside his daughter as he holds the club mascot – a falcon
Gareth Bale posted a photograph alongside his daughter on Instagram at the LAFC game

After a full-on career in football spanning 17 years in the professional game, the Welshman has been able to step back and take some time with the family. He has four kids with his wife Emma Rhys-Jones, whom he married on the tiny Spanish island of Tagomago in 2019; Alba Violet, born in 2012, Nava Valentina, born in 2016, Axel Charles, born in May 2018 and Xander Frank Bale, who they welcomed in July, 2021.

It has likely been a welcome period of relaxation for the ex-footballer. But while the Whitchurch-born star has taken a step away from the game, he made a point of saying he was "stepping down, not stepping away" from football completely during his retirement announcement last January.

Wales manager Rob Page said that the Welsh men's record appearance holder could still have a role to play in the national team set-up moving forward.

“When you've got someone of Bale's stature and what he's done for Wales, the impact he can have - even being in the changing room and the impact he can have on the players, then I've got to take advantage of that.” Page said.

"He's interested to do it in whatever capacity and that's a chat we will have privately about further down the line no doubt. I'm passionate about keeping him involved. He'll be absolutely interested and I think there may have been discussions before this about staying involved in some capacity."

For now at least, being a falconer, with his daughter alongside him, on the sidelines is enough.