Wales captain Gareth Bale on Monday announced his immediate retirement from club and international football. The 33-year-old shocked football fans all around the world as he announced the decision on Twitter.
Bale played in the English Premier League for Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur before joining La Liga giants Real Madrid.
He was playing for the Los Angeles FC and helped them win the Major League Soccer title in the US before turning up for Wales at the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar.
Bale scored 141 goals from 394 games in all competitions in his club career which began with Southampton in 2006. During his two stints at Spurs, Bale netted 53 times. He also won the UEFA Champions League five times during his stint at Real Madrid.
Bale's final appearance came against England in the group stage at the FIFA World Cup 2022. He led Wales at their first World Cup since 1958 at Qatar 2022.
Statement From Gareth Bale
"After careful and thoughtful consideration, I announce my immediate retirement from club and international football. I feel incredibly fortunate to have realised 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.
"From my very first touch at Southampton to my last with LAFC and everything in between, shaped a club career that I have an immense pride and gratitude for. Playing for and captaining my country 111 times has truly been a dream come true. To show my gratitude to all of those that have played their part along this journey, feels like an impossibility. I feel indebted to many people for helping to change my life and shape my career in a way I couldn't have ever dreamed of when I first started out at 9 years old. To my previous clubs, Southampton, Tottenham, Real Madrid and finally LAFC.
"All of my previous managers and coaches, back room staff, team mates, all the dedicated fans, my agents, my amazing friends and family, the impact you have had is immeasurable. My parents and my sister, without your dedication in those early days, without such a strong foundation, I wouldn't be writing this statement right now, so thank you for putting me on this path and for your unwavering support.
"My wife and my children, your love and support has carried me through. Right beside me for all the highs and lows, keeping me grounded along the way. You inspire me to be better, and to make you proud. So, I move on with anticipation to the next stage of my life. A time of change and transition, an opportunity for a new adventure..."
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