Footballer Gareth Bale, former Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid star has announced his retirement from the club and international football with immediate effect. 

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Bale issued a statement on his social media explaining his decision to retire: “After careful and thoughtful 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.”

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Bale had an illustrious career in the game, having won four Champions Leagues, two La Liga titles and three Club World Cups. Bale also got to lead his beloved Wales, and won their first word cup since 1958. 

“The highest of highs over 17 seasons, that will be impossible to replicate, no matter what the next chapter has in store for me,” added the star. 

Bale paid an ode to Southampton, the team he started out with, in his heartfelt post: “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.”

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The Welshman says he anticipates whatever the next phase of life brings to him. “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,” he followed. 

Bale was a part of  Southampton’s academy, making his official debut on field at the mere age of 16. He later moved to Tottenham in 2007, although the move did not lead to any victories for his first 27 premier league games. 

However, Bale’s performance improved, which lead to a hat trick Champions League against Inter Milan at San Siro in 2010. 

Bale emerged as one of the most promising talent in Europe, winning several accolades after the memorable 2012/13 season, in which he scored 21 Premier League goals.