Gareth Bale returns to LAFC to say goodbye after announcing his retirement at 33, sending a message to fans that he “will always remember last November’s epic MLS Cup win”.
Gareth Bale has returned to LAFC to bid farewell to his former teammates after announcing his retirement this week at the age of 33.
Bale moved to Los Angeles seven months ago and won the MLS Cup with the team, scoring a dramatic 128th-minute equalizer to win the game on penalties against the Philadelphia Union, which his team then went on to win.
On Friday, the Welshman toasted that win one last time with his old team-mates as they gathered for pre-season training ahead of the next MLS season, which kicks off in February.
He was pictured being greeted by the likes of Giorgio Chiellini, Carlos Vela and Ryan Hollingshead.
Gareth Bale, pictured with Giorgio Chiellini, has returned to LAFC for a personal farewell
Bale announced his retirement at the age of 33 on the week after seven months at LAFC
Bale also recorded a message for the team’s fan base, saying: “Hello all LAFC fans and 3252.
“I just want to say thank you for welcoming you here to LA and it has been an amazing experience.
“Winning the MLS Cup together and creating lasting memories is something I will never forget. So thank you.’
LAFC themselves tweeted the pictures of Bale at the club, captioning the pics “You’ll always be welcome here”.
Bale made 13 appearances for LAFC in total, scoring three goals. His departure opens up a Designated Player spot in the LAFC roster.
When the 2022 Major League Soccer season ended, Bale played for Wales at the World Cup. They were eliminated in the group stage but drew 1–1 with the United States and Bale scored the goal for Wales from the penalty spot.
In announcing his retirement, Bale said: “After careful and thoughtful consideration, I announce my immediate retirement from club and international football.
The highlight of Bale’s time on the West Coast was his MLS Cup triumph with LAFC
Bale scored a header in the 128th minute to advance to the final on penalties where LAFC defeated Philadelphia
“I feel incredibly fortunate to have achieved my dream of playing the sport I love. It has truly given me some of the best moments of my life. The highest highs over 17 seasons that will be impossible to repeat no matter what the next chapter has in store for me.
“From my very first touch at Southampton to my last with LAFC and everything in between, she has shaped a club career of which I am immensely proud and grateful. Playing 111 times for my country and being captain was really a dream come true.”
LAFC’s season begins on February 25 with a highly anticipated game against crosstown rivals Los Angeles Galaxy.
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