Gareth Bale retires from football

The winger made 111 appearances for Wales

By Web Desk
January 09, 2023
Gareth Bale won 22 trophies, including 5 Champions Leagues — Reuters 

Wales captain Gareth Bale has decided to bid adieu to club and international football with immediate effect on Monday.

Bale is arguably the best footballer to represent Wales, having won the Champions League five times with Real Madrid.

The Wales captain took to social media to reveal the news.

"After careful and thoughtful consideration, I announce my immediate retirement from club and international football," Bale said.

"I feel incredibly fortunate to have realised my dream of playing the sport I love. It (football) has truly given me some of the best moments of my life," added Bale. "The highest of highs over 17 seasons, that will be impossible to replicate, no matter what the next chapter has in store for me."

"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 ever have 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 managers and coaches, backroom staff, teammates, all the dedicated fans, my agents, my amazing friends and family, the impact you have had is immeasurable."

Bale began his professional career in England with Southampton, but he established himself at Tottenham before joining Real Madrid in 2013 for a then-record sum.

Along with his teammates Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, he won three La Liga championships in Spain in addition to the five Champions League medals.

Bale joined Los Angeles FC of Major League Soccer (MLS) in 2022 after a brief loan stint back at Tottenham.

He led Wales to its first World Cup appearance since 1958 in Qatar in 2022. He served as his nation's talisman as they advanced to the 2016 and 2020 Euros.

Wales were eliminated from the FIFA World Cup 2022 at the group stage, and Bale's final game for Wales was a defeat against England.