“After careful consideration, I hereby announce my immediate retirement from club and international football,” Bale wrote on Twitter. “I feel proud that I was able to fulfill my dream. It has honestly given me some of the best moments of my life.”
“It seems impossible to show my gratitude to everyone. There are so many people who have changed my life. I would like to thank all my former clubs, managers, staff, management, friends and family. The impact I have made is immeasurable. I am now ready for the next stage in my life. “A time of change and transition, and above all, an opportunity for a new adventure.”
From the back to the attacker
Bale began his playing career at Southampton and then moved locally to Tottenham Hotspur in 2007. In London, the Welshman transitioned from left-back to striker and quickly became one of the best players in the Premier League.
In the summer of 2013, Bale was bought by Spanish club Real Madrid for 101 million euros. The left-footed striker instantly became the most expensive player in the world. Bale has now been overtaken in this ranking by Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Philippe Coutinho, among others.
The 10 most expensive transfers
- 1. Neymar (Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain, 2017) – 222 million euros
- 2. Kylian Mbappe (Monaco to Paris Saint-Germain, 2017) – 180 million euros
- 3. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool to Barcelona 2018) – 145 million euros
- 4. Joao Felix (Benfica to Atletico Madrid, 2019) – 126 million euros
- 5. Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid to Barcelona, 2019) – 120 million euros
- 6. Jack Grealish (Aston Villa to Manchester City, 2021) – 118 million euros
- 7. Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan to Chelsea, 2021) – 115 million euros
- 8. Ousmane Dembele (Borussia Dortmund to Barcelona, 2017) – 105 million euros
- 9. Paul Pogba (Juventus to Manchester United, 2016) – €105 million
- 10. Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid, 2013) – €101 million
Bale’s time in Madrid was a mixed success. The speedy striker started well with double figures in his first three seasons, but from the 2016/17 season onwards, the engine started to falter more and more. The mutual relationship with the coaches and the public became worse every season.
However, Bale won the Champions League five times with Real Madrid. However, in the last final – which Real Madrid won 0-1 over Liverpool – the Wales captain sat on the bench for the full ninety minutes and played just twice for Real Madrid during the million-dollar event that season.
Dream of the World Cup with Wales
Bale increasingly ended up in the second plan in the Spanish capital and was already loaned to his old club Tottenham Hotspur for a season in 2021. In the summer of 2022, the left leg’s contract expired and he made a free transfer to the Major League Soccer club Los Angeles FC.
Last year, one of Bale’s biggest dreams came true at the last minute when he qualified for the World Cup in Qatar with Wales. In the oil country, Wales got a point in the first match against the United States, but lost to England and Iran. Therefore, the group stage was the last stop for Bale and his compatriots.
Bale eventually played 665 competitive matches in his career, scoring 226 goals and making 151 assists.
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