Wales and Los Angeles FC winger Gareth Bale said on Monday he had decided to end his playing career at the age of 33.
Bale played a Wales record of 111 games for his country and was a five-time Champions League winner with Real Madrid.He helped Wales reach the 2016 and 2020 Euros before leading them in their first World Cup since 1958 at Qatar 2022.
“After careful and thoughtful consideration, I announce my immediate retirement from club and international football,” Bale said on Twitter.“I feel incredibly fortunate to have realised my dream of playing the sport I love.”
Bale started his senior career at Southampton, which introduced the 17-year-old to professional football before he moved to Tottenham Hotspur two years later.After six seasons in the Premier League, Bale was signed by Real Madrid for a fee reported by British media as a world record of 100 million euros ($107.45 million).
“Playing for and captaining my country 111 times has truly been a dream come true.” He released a statement to bid farewell to the Welsh fans and team, saying his decision to retire from international football had been “by far the hardest of my career.”