Social media has been lavishing praise on Gareth Bale after he announced his shock retirement from professional football at the age of 33.
The legendary winger enjoyed an incredible career across spells with Southampton, Tottenham, Real Madrid and LAFC, while he also carried the weight of an entire nation as he led Wales to unprecedented success at International level.
With Bale at the forefront of everything, Wales qualified for three consecutive major tournaments – sesnationally reaching the semi-finals of Euro 2016 before returning to the World Cup in late 2022 after an absence of 64 years.
“I feel incredibly fortunate to have realised my dream of playing the sport I love,” Bale said in a statement confirming his retirement from the game.
But the biggest amount of love is what supporters across the world have felt for Bale for the best part of 15 years – a gamechanger of a player capable of the utterly ridiculous and one you would always, always want on your team when it really mattered.
Time and time again Bale delivered on the big stage, and he’ll forever be remembered for his heroics in the finals of the Champions League and Copa del Rey among many other outstanding moments.
Here’s some of the best tributes to Bale from Twitter.