Gareth Bale has retired from professional football citing a desire to spend more time with his golf clubs.
The 33-year-old announced his decision in an emotional social media post in which he described the enormous toll top-level football had taken on his hobby.
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Bale spoke of the ‘years of neglect’ his golf clubs had endured during a glittering career which saw him become Wales’ most capped player and record goalscorer.
‘After 17-years of playing second fiddle to football, it’s only fair my golf clubs should be the number one priority in my life’, wrote Bale.
‘Leaving those clubs in the boot of my car for weeks on end while I galivanted around the world with football teams was wrong’.
‘Earning half a million quid a week and winning five Champions League medals will never make up for the time I missed out on smacking golf balls about my garden’.
‘Yes, scoring an overhead kick in a Champions League final is great but have you ever chipped a golf ball into tea cup at a family barbeque?’.
‘I’d like to thank my wife and children for their support in my decision to spend seven days a week on the golf course for the foreseeable future’.
During a stellar career in which he represented the likes of Southampton, Tottenham and Real Madrid, Bale was in no doubt which club he loved the most:
‘4 Iron. No contest’, admitted the Welshman.
Meanwhile, Spurs captain Harry Kane has led the tributes to Bale on social media by congratulating his former team mate on his illustrious career.
‘Gareth, what can I say? You spent six seasons at Tottenham and won zero trophies’.
‘You left for Madrid and won 19. It would have been more if you hadn’t come back to Spurs for a season on loan’.
The England skipper signed off with a GIF featuring Arrested Development’s ‘Gob’ along with the caption ‘I’ve made a huge mistake’.
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