Gareth Bale's retirement came as shock to LAFC after his declaration
Gareth Bale’s retirement came as shock to LAFC after Wales legend had vowed: ‘I haven’t come here just to be here for six months… I have YEARS left in football’, as 33-year-old departs six months on from his pledge to MLS side
- Gareth Bale, 33, confirmed his retirement from football on Monday afternoon
- Bale’s shock announcement came just six months after he joined Los Angeles FC
- When the former Wales star joined LAFC he said he had ‘many years to come’
- Bale said he wanted to ‘make his mark on the league’ and not sit on the bench
Gareth Bale announced his retirement from football just six months after he signed for Los Angeles FC and declared his intentions to play for ‘many more years’.
The former Real Madrid star released a statement on Monday afternoon to announce his ‘immediate retirement from club and international football’.
Bale’s shock announcement has contradicted the comments he made after signing a one-year deal with the option of a further 18 months at LAFC.
Bale released a statement on Monday to announce his ‘immediate retirement from football
Bale – who won five Champions Leagues, three LaLigas and three Club World Cups during his career – told LAFC fans he wanted to ‘make a mark’ in the US when he first signed.
Speaking at his LAFC unveiling last year, Bale also told reporters: ‘I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t ready to give everything.
‘I am still 32. I still have many years to come and I haven’t come here just to be here for six months or 12 months. I want to be here for as long as possible.
‘I want to do as well as I can to make my mark on this league and this team and I am looking forward to the future.
Speaking at his LAFC unveiling last year, Bale said he had ‘many more years to come’
Bale also spoke about how he he wanted to play rather than sit on the bench at LAFC
‘Also, this gives me the best opportunity to go to the next Euros and maybe further. The plan is to work hard.’
Bale added: ‘I don’t think anyone here sees it as a retirement league anymore. The weather is difficult, the travel is difficult.
‘The standard is increasing. It is a lot better than people in Europe think. Everything is improving – it’s a league on the rise.’
However, Bale has made a spectacular U-turn just six months after signing for LAFC. He has decided to retire from international and club football with immediate affect.
The 33-year-old released the following statement on his social media: ‘After careful and thoughtful consideration, I announce my immediate retirement from club and international football.’
However, Bale penned an emotional message just six months after his unveiling at LAFC
‘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 9 years old.
The Welshman wrote a second message to directly address the Wales fans on Monday
‘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
‘My parents and my sister, without your dedication in those early days, without such a strong foundation, I wouldn’t be writing this statement right now, so thank you for putting me on this path and for your unwavering support.
‘My wife and my children, your love and support has carried me through. Right beside me for all the highs and lows, keeping me grounded along the way. You inspire me to be better, and to make you proud.
‘So, I move on with anticipation to the next stage of my life. A time of change and transition, an opportunity for a new adventure.’
During his career, Bale played for Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, Real Madrid and LAFC
The Welsh winger won five Champions Leagues, three LaLigas and three Club World Cups
The winger posted a second message shortly after to address the Wales fans. He said: ‘To my Welsh family… My decision to retire from International football has been, by far the hardest of my career.
‘How do I describe what being a part of this country and team means to me? How do I articulate the impact it has had on my life? How do I put in to words the way I felt, every single time I put on that Welsh shirt?
‘My answer is that I couldn’t possibly do any of those things justice, simply with words. But I know that every person involved in Welsh football, feels the magic, and is impacted in such a powerful and unique way, so I know you feel what I feel, without using any words at all.
Bale ended his career at MLS side Los Angeles FC but only stayed for six months
‘My journey on the international stage is one that has changed not only my life but who I am. 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.
‘I shared a dressing room with boys that became brothers, and back room staff that became family, I played for the most incredible managers, and felt the undying support and love from the most dedicated fans in the world. Thank you to every one of you for being on this journey with me.
‘So for now I am stepping back, but not away from the team that lives in me and runs through my veins. After all, the dragon on my shirt is all I need.’
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