BREAKING: Gareth Bale retires from football

Wales captain Gareth Bale has announced his retirement from football at the age of 33 after a glittering career.

The nation’s most-capped men’s player with 111 appearances announced his decision on social media.

“After careful and thoughtful consideration, I announce my immediate retirement from club and international football,” said Bale, a five-time Champions League winner with Real Madrid.

“I feel incredibly fortunate to have realised my dream of playing the sport I love,” he said.

“It (football) has truly given me some of the best moments of my life,” added Bale.

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

“To show my gratitude to all of those that have played their part along this journey feels like an impossibility,” Bale said.

“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 nine years old.

“To my previous clubs Southampton, Tottenham, Real Madrid and finally LAFC, all of my previous managers and coaches, backroom 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 the 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 in transition and opportunity for a new adventure.”

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