Gareth Bale, former Real Madrid winger, has announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 33.
The former Wales national team captain broke the news on Twitter on Monday.
“After careful and thoughtful consideration, I announce my immediate retirement from the club and international football,” he wrote.
“I feel incredibly fortunate to have realised my dream of playing the sport I love.
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 immense pride and gratitude for. Playing for and captaining my country 111 times has truly been a dream come true.”
Bale began his football career in April 2006 as a 16-year-old debutant for Southampton.
A year later, Tottenham snapped him up, and at White Hart Lane, he displayed dexterity and brilliance that saw him move from left back to a winger.
He would make several PFA Team of the Season while using his blistering speed to hurt English Premier League (EPL) teams.
In 2013, Bale joined Real Madrid for a transfer deal of £85.1 million — a world record at the time.
The Welsh went on to win five UEFA Champions League trophies, three La Liga titles and FIFA Club World Cup victories.
He left Madrid for Los Angeles FC in 2022.
Bale played 111 times and scored 41 goals for the Welsh national team, making him the country’s most-capped player and top goalscorer of all time.