Former Tottenham and Real Madrid star Gareth Bale has announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 33.
Bale began his professional career at Southampton, playing at left-back and earning acclaim as a free kick specialist.
The Wales international moved to Tottenham Hotspur in 2007, for an eventual £7 million fee.
During his time at Tottenham, managerial and tactical shifts saw him transform into a more attacking player.
Bale was transferred to Real Madrid in 2013 for an undisclosed fee, which was confirmed to be a world record transfer fee of £85.1 million (€100.8 million).
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“After careful and thoughtful consideration, I announce my immediate retirement from club and international football.”
“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 an immense pride and gratitude for. Playing for and captaining my country 111 times has truly been a dream come true.
“To show my gratitude to all of those that have played their part along this journey, feels like an impossibility.
I feel indebted to many people for helping to change my life and shape my career in a way I couldn’t have ever dreamed of when I first started out at nine years old.
“To my previous clubs, Southampton, Tottenham, Real Madrid and finally LAFC.
All of my previous managers and coaches, back room staff, team mates, all the dedicated fans,
my agents, my amazing friends and family, the impact you have had is immeasurable.”