Gareth Bale ends his career at the age of 33

The announcement of Gareth Bale’s retirement from the sport, which he shared on his social networks on Monday, is a reflection of his career: both predictable and inconsistent. It ends a noticeable sporting decline of several years, while coming at an unexpected time, as the 33-year-old winger was still under contract with his club Los Angeles FC until June, and had publicly projected himself in July” until European Championship 2024 and perhaps even longer”. But his unspecified performance during the last World Cup, as well as his selection (eliminated in the first round), apparently made him change his mind.

Bale’s astonishing farewell to football thus reflects his exciting career in high-level football: accompanied by numerous injuries and the strong feeling that his job on a day-to-day basis did not fascinate him (unlike the practice of golf), but also reinforced by an exceptional track record . He is one of the few players to have won the Champions League five times, with Real Madrid between 2014 and 2022 (only Paco Gento, 6 with Real, has done better). The Welshman also holds the records for the number of international matches (111) and goals scored (41) in his national team, which he brought to the semi-finals of European Championship 2016 with his brilliant strikes (0-2 against Portugal).

He was the most expensive player in the world

His professional career, which began at Southampton in 2006 as a left-back, was also marked by his temporary status as the most expensive player in the world (according to Football Leaks, Madrid bought him for €101m from Tottenham in 2013), his ultra-mediated association with Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema (the famous “BBC”) as well as by his striking and accelerating qualities which impressed the spirits. As for example his hat-trick at San Siro with Spurs (3-4 against Inter on 20 October 2010), his raid that offered Real the King’s Cup 2014 at the expense of Barça (2-1) or his acrobatic comeback against Liverpool, in the final in the 2018 Champions League (3-1).

I feel incredibly lucky to have fulfilled my dream of playing the sport I lovehe wrote. I played at the highest level for seventeen seasons, which would be impossible to extend, no matter what the next chapter has in store for me. Bale can indeed look back on his past with pride: despite the questions his career has raised, he has simply asserted himself as one of the greatest British players in history.

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