Gareth Bale has announced with immediate effect, retirement from football at the age of 33.
The five-time Champions League winner’s last appearance was at the World Cup last month, as Wales were knocked out in the group stages in Qatar.
In a statement issued on Monday, the former Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid player, who most recently played in MLS with LAFC, stated:
“After careful and thoughtful consideration, I announce my immediate retirement from club and international football. 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.”
“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. 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 9 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.
“My parents and my sister, without your dedication in those early days, without such a strong foundation, I wouldn’t be writing this statement right now, so thank you for putting me on this path and for your unwavering support. My wife and my children, your love and support has carried me through.
“Right beside me for all the highs and lows, keeping me grounded along the way. You inspire me to be better, and to make you proud. So, I move on with anticipation to the next stage of my life. A time of change and transition, an opportunity for a new adventure…”