In this file photo taken on November 29, 2022 Wales forward #11 Gareth Bale applauds at the crowd after being defeated 3-0 in the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between Wales and England at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha. - Gareth Bale announces retirement from football on January 9, 2023. AFP
Wales' record appearance holder and goalscorer led his country from the international football wilderness to qualify for two European Championships, reaching the semi-finals of Euro 2016, and a first World Cup since 1958.
The Los Angeles FC forward, who previously played for Southampton, Tottenham and Real Madrid, made his final competitive appearance during Wales' World Cup group stage fixture with England on November 29.
"After careful and thoughtful consideration, I announce my immediate retirement from club and international football," Bale posted in a message on social media.
"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."
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