Gareth Bale, a former forward for Wales, Tottenham, and Real Madrid, has announced his retirement from the game at the age of 33.
Bale was a member of the Welsh team for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. He spent the previous MLS season with LAFC.
The decision to retire from international football, according to Bale, was "by far the hardest of my career."
"My experience on the global stage has changed not only my life, but who I am," he continued.
The Welshman is regarded as one of Britain's greatest-ever football exports and won three La Liga championships in addition to five Champions League crowns while playing for Real Madrid.
Wales Legend and Captain: Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale has been an integral part of the Wales team since his debut in 2006 and has been a key catalyst in the team's success in recent years. He has been a mainstay of the Welsh side for the past 17 years, scoring 33 goals in his international career, and has been a major contributor to their recent successes, including the 2016 UEFA Euro semi-finals and 2018 FIFA World Cup quarter-finals. Despite his retirement from international football, Gareth Bale's story will be told for generations to come as one of the greatest Welsh players of all time.
Gareth Bale's international debut with Wales was in 2006 against Trinidad and Tobago
Gareth Bale has scored 33 goals in his international career with Wales. For an in-depth analysis of Gareth Bale with Wales check the analysis here.
Bale Club Football Career
Bale began his career at Southampton and made his debut there at the age of 16. He then spent six years at Tottenham before joining Madrid in 2013 for a then-record £85 million cost. Even as recently as November, he had said he would continue to play at least until Wales' Euro 2024 qualifying campaign was through. Bale made 111 appearances for his country and scored 41 goals.
Real Madrid Came Calling
Bale had an immediate effect at Real Madrid and contributed to the team's four Champions League victories over a six-year span. He played a significant role in the team's 2016–17 La Liga championship triumph. However, injuries cut short his tenure with the team, and he spent the last two years on loan at Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.
Bale's amazing overhead kick goal against Liverpool in the Champions League final of 2018—the first of his two goals in Kyiv—was arguably his best performance on the biggest platform in club football and crucial to the team's success. Similar praise followed his game-winning goal against Barcelona in the 2014 Copa del Rey championship.
In the end, you got to put your hands up and admit Gareth Bale accomplish everything he did in football. He had amazing success in club football. But his proudest moment, his best moments on the football pitch was wearing the red shirt for Wales and captaining the national team to their first World Cup 2022 in Qatar appearance after 1958.
In Summary of Gareth Bale Career
Gareth Bale, who has produced countless memorable performances for Wales throughout his career and will be remembered as their greatest footballer, had been struggling to perform at his usual level during the World Cup. At 33 years old, the wear and tear of time, along with limited playing time at club level, had taken its toll. He was no longer able to perform at the level he once was, where he was considered among the top players in the world alongside Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. With Wales having qualified for their first World Cup since 1958, there was little left for Bale to accomplish in his international career.
This theory was confirmed on Monday, as Bale announced his retirement from all football in a statement. Despite his success at the club level, including winning the Champions League five times with Real Madrid and being the world's most expensive footballer after his transfer from Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid in 2013, Bale's relationship with his national team will always hold a special place in the hearts of fans.