Wales’ Gareth Bale retires at 33: LAFC and Real Madrid champion says ‘It’s time for the next phase of my life’

Gareth Bale’s stint at LAFC was brief but memorable as the Welsh striker hangs up his boots. From the academy at Southampton, to prominence at Tottenham, to fame at Real Madrid and LAFC, Bale has won just about everything there is to win while also putting the Wales national team in the spotlight.

Bale’s final moment in club football, in which he towered above the Philadelphia Union’s Jack Elliott and scored a header in the 128th minute to force a penalty shoot-out in LAFC’s maiden MLS Cup win, is a fitting end to a career filled with historic moments bale.

He has won the Champions League five times, the Club World Cup four times, the European Super Cup three times, La Liga and Spanish Super Cup three times, the MLS Cup, the MLS Supporters’ Shield, the Copa Del Rey and the 2017-18 Club World Golden Boot Cup, 2012-13 Premier League Player of the Year, EFL Cup 2008 Trophy and six Welsh Footballer of the Year awards. Bale also redefined transfers when his summer 2013 move from Tottenham to Real Madrid made him their first €100m man as Los Blancos paid Spurs $111m for Bale. It also proved to be money well spent.

“We want to thank Gareth for everything he’s brought to our club,” said LAFC co-president and general manager John Thorrington. “He came here with a goal to win championships in LA and like everything else in his career, he succeeded. It was an honor to see one of the most talented, dynamic and exciting players of his generation ending his career with a title for LAFC and we wish Gareth, his wife Emma and their family all the best in their future endeavours.”

At 33, Bale is retiring to pursue new adventures and has had an impressive career. Switching from left-back to winger, Bale had a devastating pace to beat anyone in his path, but even as injuries and age eased that pace, Bale was able to become more of a goal striker and keep his career going.

Bale has 186 career goals and 139 assists in 554 appearances for four clubs. The final two goals of his career couldn’t have come at better times either, as Bale also scored from the penalty spot at the World Cup against the United States. This World Cup appearance was the first of his career and Wales’ first World Cup since 1958.

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