Gareth Bale retires: How old is the Welsh soccer player and why is he retiring?
Bale struggled with injuries during his successful stint with Real Madrid which saw him spend time in the stands at the Santiago Bernabéu.
Gareth Bale announced his retirement from a glittering football career on Monday.
The Welsh forward wrote on social media: “After careful thought and 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.”
Bale’s injury history
Bale struggled with injuries during his successful spell with Real Madrid which saw him spend large chunks of time in the stands at the Santiago Bernabéu.
He was not every Madridista’s favourite player but he still achieved what most players can only dream of in their careers.
With Los Blancos, the Welshman won three LaLiga titles, three Spanish Super Cups, one Copa del Rey, three UEFA Super Cups and four FIFA Club World Cups.
Move to LAFC
The Welsh forward moved to LAFC in the summer of 2022 but only made a total of just 13 appearances for the club (two of them as a starter) and scored three goals. He suffered an injury with the MLS outfit which ruled him out of action for a while.
However, during the MLS Cup final, Bale scored an extraordinary header in the 128th minute to level the final against Philadelphia Union. Los Angeles went on to win the trophy on penalties, but none of that would have been possible without Bale’s header.
Retiring at 33
Wales hadn’t played in a World Cup since 1958 and when they qualified with Bale, who is the country’s most-capped men’s player with 111 appearances, he was never going to miss out on the opportunity of going to Qatar despite talk of retirement before that.
The number of injuries suffered over his 17-season career may have been part of the reason he decided to hang up his boots at the age of 33.
He made his final competitive appearance when Wales faced England in the 2022 World Cup group stage match on November 29.
For modern-day football, 33 is young, but Bale can retire happily with his five Champions League medals and not have to answer any more questions about his golfing exploits.
To be able to comment you must be registered and logged in. Forgot password?