Gareth Bale of Wales leads the applause for the fans after the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B match between Wales and England at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on November 29, 2022 in Doha, Qatar.
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Former Wales, Tottenham and Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale has retired from professional football aged 33.
Bale, who spent last season at LAFC in MLS, was part of Wales’ squad for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Bale has described the decision to quit international football as “by far the hardest of my career”.
“My journey on the international stage is one that has changed not only my life, but who l am,” he added.
The Welshman won five Champions League titles and La Liga three times at Real Madrid and is considered one of Britain’s greatest-ever football exports.
Bale said: “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. 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.
“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 nine 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.
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“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.”
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