Former Tottenham and Real Madrid star Gareth Bale has announced his retirement from club and international football at age 33, putting an end to his 17-year trophy laden career on the pitch.
The former Wale international made the announcement in an emotional social media statement on Monday evening, detailing his journey as a footballer.
“After careful and thoughtful consideration, I announce my immediate retirement from club and international football,” the statement said.
Bale, who last played for Major League Soccer (MLS) outfit, where he won the MLS Cup and Supports’ Shield, went further to thank the clubs he had played for, and people that were part of his journey as a professional player.
He added: “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. The highest of highs over 17 seasons, that will be impossible to replicate, no matter what the next chapter has in store for me.
“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.”
The 33-year-old made his professional debut with Southampton in 2006, before joining Tottenham a year later. After shooting to stardom at Spurs, Bale joined Real Madrid in 2013 in a then world record transfer fee of £85.1 million (€100.8 million).
His stint in Spain was successful, winning three La Liga titles, five UEFA Champions League titles, multiple UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup titles. Copa del Rey and Supercopa de España are also the silverware in his trophy cabinet.
He earned more than 100 caps for the Wale national team, and was part of the squad that featured at the 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup, scoring Wale’s first goal at a World Cup finals tournament since 1958 against USA.
Bale holds the record as Wale’s most capped player and highest goalscorer for the national team.