Former Real Madrid player Gareth Bale paid tribute to the fans of Wales after saying an emotional farewell before the commencement of action against Latvia on Tuesday.
Gareth Bale retired at the beginning of the year
Bale hung up his boots at the start of 2023 after guiding his country to their second ever World Cup appearance in history.
Wales had previously been at the World Cup in 1958 but Gareth Bale and his compadre ensured that they made their showing at the competition held last year in Qatar.
He would be regarded as one of the greatest Welsh players of all time due to the kind of sublime career he had representing several clubs including Spanish giants Real Madrid and English side Tottenham Hotspur.
The former Tottenham Hotspur man made his first appearance before a large chunk of Welsh fans since he announced his retirement from football on Tuesday, March 28.
Bale also received a deafening applause from the supporters who chorused his “Viva Bale” song. The former Southampton man speaking prior to the game said:
“Hello, I just want to say… what an honour it has been to represent this country and to play in front of the best fans in the world.
“You support me and my family and all the team through the lows and the lows, the highs and the highs. I can’t thank you enough and, honestly, it’s been the biggest pleasure playing in front of you for my whole career. Obviously I’m going to miss playing in front of you.
“But make sure you keep supporting the boys. You, the fans, are Welsh football; you make it so special; you make it what it is today and obviously I’ll be cheering on like you lot and hopefully see you soon in the future, so thank you.”
The final part of Gareth Bale’s speech is fascinating as the former attacker is presumed to be taking into consideration the possibility of being part of Robert Page’s backroom staff.
Robert Page on the former Real Madrid man
The manager of Wales, Robert Page speaking in January said: “I’ve had that conversation but I would love him still to be involved in some capacity.
“Now what that role is, we don’t know yet. “He just needs some time with his family. It’s a big adjustment for him, training every day to go into a normal-ish life and doing the school run, but we’ll have another conversation with him in a few weeks.
“We’ll make a plan moving forward because he’s got so much to offer. Even his presence in the dressing room, the hotel environment is something I would be really keen on to keep him involved, but I’ll leave it up to Gareth and what suits him and his family.
“I think he would be keen as well… I’m sure the FAW “Football Association of Wales” would also be keen to keep Gareth involved in some capacity.”
The clubs Gareth Bale played for during his playing career
Bale represented Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, Real Madrid and Los Angeles FC at club level during his playing days.
He won the UEFA Champions League five times with Real Madrid and he would undoubtedly be remembered for what he did at the International stage.
Gareth Bale is Wales’ all time highest goalscorer alongside the player with the most number of caps for the senior national team.
He scored 41 goals in 111 appearances for the country and he was part of the Welsh side that participated at Euro 2016, Euro 2020 and Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.