Former Wales Captain and Tottenham Hotspurs and Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale has announced his retirement from club and professional-level football at the age of 33.
Bale made the announcement in a statement on his social media channels that he brings an end to a career that saw him excel for Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, Real Madrid and LAFC while also establishing himself as one of the greatest players in Welsh football history.
“After careful and thoughtful consideration, I announce my immediate retirement from club and international football,” Bale said in a statement.
“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.”
At the club level, Bale started his professional career at Southampton, and his form there earned him a move to Tottenham in May 2007.
He won an array of individual awards for his performances at the Premier League team, and in September 2013, Madrid signed Bale on a six-year deal for a then-world-record fee of €100 million.
In Spain, Bale won three La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey and five Champions Leagues (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2022).
Towards the end of his Madrid career, he spent the 2020-21 campaign on loan back at Spurs. And after one final season back in Madrid, he left the club in June 2022 at the end of his contract and signed a 12-month deal with LAFC.
He made 14 appearances in the States while Bale’s last act in football was playing for Wales in the 2022 World Cup, where he earned the last of his record-breaking 111 caps in their 3-0 defeat to England.
He calls time on his international career as the most capped Wales men’s player with 111 appearances, sitting alongside his record-setting 41 goals.
Bale has not announced his next plan.