Gareth Bale retires from football with immediate effect

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Wales captain Gareth Bale has announced his retierement from club and international football with immediate effect.

Former Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspurs winger Gareth Bale has announced his retirement from club and international football with immediate effect.

“After careful and thoughtful consideration, I announce my immediate retirement from club and international football,” Bale said in a statement.

“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.”

Bale begun his professional career at Southampton, making his debut for Saints in April 2006 aged 16.

Bale’s performances at St Mary’s earned him a move to Tottenham in the summer of 2007.

He initially had a tough time in north London, having failed to win his first 24 appearances for Spurs.

However, the winger became a key player for Tottenham, helping them to Champions League qualification in the 2009/10 season.

Bale won the PFA Player of the Year award in the 2010/11 season and 2012/13 season, which caught Real Madrid’s eye. Los Blancos would pay a then-world record £85million for his services in September 2013.

He failed to convince many Real Madrid fans but Bale helped the Spanish giants to a bucket load of trophies, including five Champions Leagues and three LaLiga titles.

A season-long loan away from the Bernabeu saw Bale return to Tottenham before he joined MLS club LAFC upon the expiration of his Real Madrid contract in the summer of 2022.

But it was with the Welsh national team where he arguably made the biggest mark in his career having played a huge part in guiding them to the semi-finals of Euro 2016 – Wales’ first major tournament since 1958.

He also represented Wales at the World Cup in Qatar, signing off with a record 111 appearances for them.

“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,” he added. “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 nine 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.”

 

Sportscliffs

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