Football Great Gareth Bale Announces Retirement From Professional Football At 33 - Men's Health Magazine Australia

Football Great Gareth Bale Announces Retirement From Professional Football At 33

Wales captain, Gareth Bale, has announced his retirement from professional football in an emotional statement.

You need only look at the recent 2022 FIFA World Cup to understand that not only is football a world game, but its players are also figures who have transcended the football field and become something closer to role models beloved around the globe. From Messi to Ronaldo, Pele to Diego Maradona, these are players who defied all expectation, creating a new style of play with their fancy footwork, light touches, lightning fast dribbles down the line, and the kind of goals that serve to be replayed constantly. Amongst these legends of the game is Gareth Bale, the Welsh star who excelled for Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, Real Madrid and LAFC, cementing his place as one of the greatest players in football history. 

For fans, it came as a devastating blow to hear that Bale will now retire from professional football at the age of 33. The football star made the surprise announcement in a statement posted on his social media channels, bringing an end to a career that saw him emerge as a beloved figure in the sport. 

“After careful and thoughtful consideration, I announce my immediate retirement from club and international football,” said Bale. 

“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.”

gareth bale

Bale first began his illustrious career at Southampton, before moving to Tottenham in 2007. Though he joined as a left-back, he was later moved to the attacking line, a position that saw him dominate on the field as he showcased his athleticism, agility and speed. Throughout his time at Tottenham, Bale won a number of awards for his performances at the Premier League team, and later went on to sign a six-year deal for Madrid in 2013 with a then-world-record fee of 100 million euros. 

Since then, Bales’s performances have stood the test of time. After all, who could forget the incredible overhead kick that saw Madrid win over Liverpool in the 2018 Champions League final? During his time in Spain, he won three La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey and five Champions Leagues (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2022). 

“To show my gratitude to all those that have played their part along this journey feels like an impossibility,” said Bale. “I feel indebted to many people for helping to change my life and shape my career in a way I couldn’t ever have dreamed of when I first started out at 9 years old. To my previous clubs Southampton, Tottenham, Real Madrid and finally LAFC, all of my managers and coaches, backroom staff, teammates, all the dedicated fans, my agents, my amazing friends and family, the impact you have had is immeasurable.”

More recently, Bale played for Wales in the 2022 World Cup, ultimately losing to England 3-0. Bale now calls time on his international career as the most capped Wales men’s player with 111 appearances, sitting alongside a record-setting 41 goals and issued a separate statement address to his “Welsh family.” 

“My journey on the international stage is one that has changed not only my life but who I am,” Bale wrote. “The fortune of being Welsh and being selected to play for and captain Wales, has given me something incomparable to anything else I’ve experienced. I am honoured and humbled to have been able to play a part in the history of this incredible country, to have felt the support and passion of the red wall, and together have been to unexpected and amazing places.”

The future is now Bale’s to make of it as he has yet to disclose his next plans. “I move on with anticipation to the next stage of my life,” he wrote, adding, “a time of change and transition, an opportunity for a new adventure.” Even so, it seems safe to say that football will always remain a huge part of Bale’s life. 

“So for now I am stepping back, but not away from the team that lives in me and runs through my veins,” he added. “After all, the dragon on my shirt is all I need.”

By Jessica Campbell

Jess is a storyteller committed to sharing the human stories that lie at the heart of sport.

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