Gareth Bale announces his retirement from professional football

Gareth Bale He announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 33.

Bell announced the sudden announcement, Monday, in a statement he posted on his social media channels.

This brings an end to a career that has seen Bale excel for Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, Real Madrid and LAFF, while also establishing himself as one of the greatest players in the history of Welsh football.

– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (US)

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

“I feel incredibly fortunate to have fulfilled my dream of playing the sport I love. It truly gave me some of the best moments of my life. Highs over 17 seasons, it will be impossible to repeat, no matter what the next chapter has in store for me.”

At club level, Bale began his professional career at Southampton, and his form there led to a move to Tottenham Hotspur in May 2007. He joined Tottenham as a left-back but soon switched to a position on the left of Tottenham’s attacking line, and then established himself as one of the best players in the world.

He won a range of individual awards for his performances in the Premier League team, and in September 2013, Madrid signed Bale on a six-year deal for a then world record fee of €100m.

In Spain, Bale has won three La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey and five UEFA Champions League titles (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2022). Although he was frozen in the latter stages of his contract with Madrid, he did contribute some historic moments Los Blancosincluding his stunning overhead kick in their 3-1 victory over Liverpool in the 2018 UEFA Champions League Final.

Towards the end of his Madrid career, he spent the 2020-21 season on loan at Tottenham. After returning for one final season to Madrid, he left the club in June 2022 at the end of his contract and signed a 12-month contract with LAFC.

He played 14 matches in the United States, his biggest contribution coming with a header in the 128th minute of extra time in the MLS Cup Final that saw LAFC tie the game 3-3 against the Philadelphia Union. That forced the match into a penalty shootout, which resulted in LAFC claiming its first major trophy.

“Showing my gratitude to all those who have played their part in this journey feels like an impossibility,” Bell added. “I feel indebted to so many people for helping change my life and shape my career in a way I could never have dreamed of when I first started my business at the age of nine.

“For my former clubs Southampton, Tottenham, Real Madrid and finally LAFC, all the managers, coaches, back room staff, colleagues, all the loyal fans, clients, amazing friends and family, the impact I have had has been immeasurable.”

Bale’s last act in football was playing for Wales in the 2022 World Cup, where he earned his last 111 caps in a 3-0 defeat by England. He captained the team in that contest, and in announcing his retirement, issued a separate statement Addressed to his “Welsh family”.

He was considered some time into his international career as the most capped player for Wales with 111 appearances, sitting alongside the 41 goals he scored. He helped the team on their journey to the semi-finals of Euro 2016, along with leading their campaign at Euro 2020 and the recent World Cup, in what was the first appearance of Welsh men’s teams in a World Cup since 1958.

“My journey on the international stage changed not only my life, but who I am,” Bell wrote. “The fortune of being Welsh and being chosen to play and captain Wales has given me something incomparable to anything else I have experienced.

“I am honored and privileged to be able to play a part in the history of this amazing country, I felt the support and passion of the Red Wall, and together I went to unexpected and amazing places.”

Bell did not announce his next plans: “I move with anticipation into the next phase of my life,” he wrote in his retirement statement. “A time for change and transition, an opportunity for a new adventure.”

Whatever that new adventure looks like, he says he will keep a close eye on Team Wales.

“So I’m stepping back now, but not too far from the team that lives in me and works in my veins,” he added. “After all, the dragon on my shirt is all I need.”

Leave a Comment