Gareth Bale retires from football: Wales, Tottenham and Real Madrid legend hangs up boots
BREAKING NEWS: Gareth Bale suddenly RETIRES from football at 33, just seven months after signing for LAFC and six weeks after he vowed not to leave Wales as he hints at a managerial job
Wales legend Gareth Bale has confirmed his retirement from football in an emotional post on social media.
The former Real Madrid star has ended his illustrious career in which he won five Champions Leagues, three La Liga titles and three Club World Cups.
The 33-year-old, who has played for Southampton, Tottenham, Madrid and Los Angeles FC, wrote an emotional message on social media to say goodbye to fans on Monday afternoon.
The former Tottenham Hotspur winger shared a message refusing to rule out working with the Wales national team in the future, which read: “After careful and thoughtful consideration, I announce my immediate retirement from club and international football.” .
‘I feel incredibly lucky to have realized my dream of playing the sport that I love. It really has given me some of the best moments of my life. The highest of the highs in 17 seasons, which will be impossible to replicate, no matter what the next chapter throws at me.
‘From my first cap at Southampton to my last with LAFC and everything in between, he shaped a career at the club for which I have immense pride and gratitude. Playing for and captaining my country 111 times has truly been a dream come true.
‘Showing my gratitude to all those who have played their part along this journey feels like an impossibility. I am indebted to so many people for helping change my life and shape my career in ways I could never have dreamed of when I started at age 9.
To my previous clubs, Southampton, Tottenham, Real Madrid and finally LAFC. All my previous managers and coaches, back room staff, teammates, 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 would not be writing this statement right now, so thank you for putting me on this path and for your unwavering support.
‘My wife and children, their love and support have sustained me. Right by my side through all the ups and downs, keeping me grounded along the way. You inspire me to be better and I make you proud.
‘So, I move forward with anticipation to the next stage of my life. A time of change and transition, an opportunity for a new adventure.’
The winger posted a second message shortly after, aimed at the Welsh fans. He said: ‘To my Welsh family… My decision to retire from international football has been by far the most difficult of my career.
‘How do I describe what it means to me to be part of this country and team? How do I articulate the impact it has had on my life? How can I put into words what I felt, every time I put on that Welsh shirt?
‘My answer is that I couldn’t do any of those things justice, simply with words. But I know that every single person involved in Welsh football feels the magic and is impacted in such a powerful and unique way, so I know you feel what I feel, without using any words.
‘My journey on the international stage is one that has changed not only my life but also who I am. The fortune of being Welsh and being selected to play and captain Wales has given me something incomparable to anything I’ve experienced.
“I am humbled and honored to have been able to play a role in the history of this incredible country, to have felt the support and passion of the red wall, and to have been together in unexpected and amazing places.
“I shared locker room with kids who became brothers and backroom staff who became family, played for the most amazing coaches and felt the undying support and love from the world’s most dedicated fans. Thank you to each of you for being on this journey with me.
So for now I’m taking a step back, but not away from the team that lives in me and runs through my veins. After all, the dragon on my shirt is all I need.
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