Wales international, Gareth Bale, has announced his retirement from professional football.
In a statement released via his official Instagram account, Bale told his “Welsh family” that “After careful and thoughtful consideration, I announce my immediate retirement from club and international football.”
In the statement sighted by www.africanentertainment.com, he added: “I feel incredibly fortunate to have realised my dream of playing the sport I love.”
Bale is retiring at the age of 33 following his poor show with Wales at the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar. Wales lost 3 – 0 to England, 2 – 1 to Iran and drew 1 – 1 with USA at the group stage.
The former Tottenham Hotspur player is one of the most accomplished and highly decorated Welsh footballers of all-time.
Bale, born in Cardiff, won the UEFA Champions League five times with reigning Spanish Champions, Real Madrid. He won three La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey, three European Supercup, three Club World Cup titles, one supercopa de Espana with Real Madrid, moving on to win one Major League Soccer title in the US.
He also won individual awards both at international and club level.
Bale – who joined Tottenham from Southampton – was the Player of the Season in the English Premier League in the 2012/2013 season.
He was included in the UEFA Team of the Year twice in 2011 and 2013.
At the international level, he won the Welsh Footballer of The Year Award six time for his immense contributions to the Welsh team.
Bale noted in his statement, “It [football] has truly given me some of the best moments of my life”, adding that “The highest of highs over 17 seasons, that will be impossible to replicate, no matter what the next chapter has in store for me.”