Gareth Bale announced his retirement from football on Monday after a 17-year career as one of Britain’s most decorated players.
The 33-year-old Welsh star made the announcement on social media, weeks after he played his last competitive game at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, where Wales lost 3-0 to England and were knocked out at the tournament’s group stage.
“After careful and thoughtful consideration, I announce my immediate retirement from club and international football,” Bale wrote. “I feel incredibly fortunate to have realized my dream of playing the sport I love.”
“It has truly given me some of the best moments of my life. The highest of highs over 17 seasons, that will be impossible to replicate, no matter what the next chapter has in store for me.”
Bale started his career at Southampton in 2006 before joining Tottenham Hotspur in 2007, where he played 237 games and developed into one of Europe’s deadliest attackers, also winning the League Cup in 2008.
The winger joined Real Madrid for a then-world record fee of 104 million U.S. dollars in September 2013 and helped the La Liga giants to 19 trophies, including five UEFA Champions League titles, four FIFA Club World Cups, three La Liga titles, three UEFA Super Cups, one Copa del Rey and three Spanish Super Cups.
Bale later returned to Spurs for a loan spell in the 2020/21 season, before finishing his club career with MLS side Los Angeles FC.
He represented Wales from 2006 to 2022, scoring 41 goals in 111 appearances.
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