Gareth Bale, the former Tottenham and Real Madrid star, has announced his retirement from club and international football at the age of 33, capping up a 17-year trophy-laden career on the pitch.
On Monday evening, the former Wale international made the announcement in an emotional social media statement chronicling his football career.
“I announce my immediate retirement from club and international football after thorough and thoughtful thinking,” the statement added.
Gareth Bale, who last played for Major League Soccer (MLS) team Los Angeles FC, where he won the MLS Cup and Supports’ Shield, went on to praise the clubs he had played for and the people who were a part of his professional experience.
“I feel tremendously blessed to have realized my dream of playing the sport I love,” he continued. It has definitely provided me with some of the most memorable experiences of my life. No matter what the next chapter has in store for me, the highest of highs over 17 seasons will be impossible to recreate.
“From my very first touch at Southampton to my last with LAFC and everything in between, created a club career that I have an amazing pride and gratitude for. Playing for and captaining my country 111 times has been a lifelong dream.”
The 33-year-old made his professional debut in 2006 with Southampton before moving to Tottenham a year later. Bale rose to prominence at Tottenham Hotspur before joining Real Madrid in 2013 for a then-world record cost of £85.1 million (€100.8 million).
In Spain, he won three La Liga crowns, five UEFA Champions League titles, and numerous UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup titles. His trophy cabinet also includes the Copa del Rey and the Supercopa de Espaa.
Gareth Bale has over 100 caps for the Wale national team and was a member of the squad that competed in the 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup, scoring Wale’s first goal in a World Cup finals competition since 1958 against the USA.
Bale is the most capped player and leading goal scorer for the Wale’s national team.