The Cardiff Express hangs up its boots after playing with Wales in the World Cup in Qatar, with five Champions League titles to its credit but the feeling of having been able to leave an even bigger mark on football
Gareth Bale hangs up his boots. In a global sporting context in which many world stars are still pulverizing records well over thirty, the Welshman, a different player in so many ways, leaves football at the age of 33. The left-handed opts for the golden retirement after playing the World Cup in Qatar with his beloved Wales team and having one last professional experience at Los Angeles FC, of the American MLS, after his disappointing second spell at Real Madrid.
“After careful and thoughtful reflection, I announce my immediate retirement from football. I feel incredibly lucky to have realized my dream of dedicating myself to the sport that I love. It has given me some of the best moments of my life”, begins the statement that the Cardiff Express has disseminated through its profiles on social networks.
A global look at the whole of his career throws up a legendary list of winners, marked by up to five Champions League titles in white, but also the feeling as an epilogue that the Welshman could have left an even bigger mark on the football if injuries and greater perseverance had accompanied him.
And it is that the story of Bale (Cardiff, 1989) is that of a chosen one. Since adolescence, he stood out for an ideal physique for sports – he practiced rugby and athletics, in its speed modalities before dedicating himself exclusively to soccer – and the barrel of his left leg.
Such qualities soon caught the eye of Southampton scouts, with whom he made his Championship debut in April 2006 as a 16-year-old teenager. A season in the second category of English football -2006-07- Bale had plenty to prove with five goals and up to eleven assists his jump to the first level at the hands of Tottenham.
The Spurs paid almost ten million pounds for a player who dazzled in North London and became the object of desire among the great clubs of the Old Continent. Unforgettable that ‘hat-trick’ in the 2010-11 Champions League against Inter Milan, which was an exhibition of an absolutely unstoppable footballer on the left-handed lane, where he evolved from being a winger to the most offensive positions in the game.