33-year-old Gareth Bale ends football career

Los Angeles FC wants Gareth Bale to stay for a

The 33-year-old captain of Wales, Gareth Bale has announced his retirement from football after a successful career.

With 111 appearances, the male player in the country with the most caps made his decision public on social media.

Bale is perhaps the best footballer to represent Wales, having won the Champions League five times with Real Madrid.

Bale added, “I announce my immediate retirement from club and international football after thorough and thoughtful thinking.

“I consider myself tremendously lucky to have realized my dream of participating in the sport I adore,” he wrote.

Cardiff-born Prior to his relocation to Los Angeles, Bale’s professional career carried him from Southampton to Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid.

He was his country’s talisman as they reached the 2016 and 2020 Euros before he led Wales at their first World Cup since 1958 at Qatar 2022.

Wales went out of the tournament at the group stage, with their loss to England proving to be the final appearance of Bale’s career.

It was not a fitting end for a player who achieved extraordinary feats with club and country.

“It (football) has truly given me some of the best moments of my life,” added Bale.

“The highest of highs over 17 seasons, that will be impossible to replicate, no matter what the next chapter has in store for me.”

Bale joined Southampton as a schoolboy and made his debut for the Saints as a 16-year-old in April 2006.

His first senior cap followed a matter of weeks later, making Bale Wales’ youngest international – although that record has since been broken.

That marked the start of a Wales career in which Bale inspired his country to the best spell in their history.

Having ended a 58-year wait for a major tournament appearance by qualifying for Euro 2016, Wales produced a sensational run to the semi-finals, only losing to eventual winners Portugal.

They also made it to the knockout stages of the next European Championship before last summer’s play-off final win over Ukraine saw Wales clinch their long-awaited return to the World Cup.