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Is Gareth Bale One of Britain’s Greatest Football Exports?

Britain's Greatest Football Exports

Welsh international footballer player and Champions League winner Gareth Bale recently announced his retirement from the sport that saw him play in some of the world’s top-flight leagues.

The question being asked here is, is Gareth Bale one of Britain’s greatest-ever football exports? Find out more about the prolific winger right here.

Who is Gareth Bale?

Gareth Bale is a former men’s professional footballer who was born in Cardiff, Wales, in July 1989. The left-footed winger began his youth career at Southampton in 1999 before making his debut for the senior team in 2006 at the tender age of just 16 (and 275 days). This match saw Bale become Southampton’s second youngest-ever player.

Bale scored his first-ever goal in early August 2006 in a 1-1 draw against Derby County. Throughout his time at Southampton, he made 40 appearances and scored 5 goals. He signed for Tottenham Hotspur in 2007, and over the next 6 years, he scored 42 goals in 146 games.

He joined La Liga side Real Madrid in 2013, scored 82 magical goals in 176 games, and then returned to Tottenham Hotspur for a brief loan spell during the 2020-21 season. In his second time playing for Spurs, he played 20 games and scored 11 goals.

Before hanging up his boots for good, the Welsh international superstar moved to America to play in the MLS for Los Angeles FC, where he scored 2 goals in 12 games. At an international level, he played 111 games for Wales between 2006 and 2022, scoring a total of 41 goals.

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Is Gareth Bale one of Britain’s best football exports?

He may not be Britain’s greatest football export that was unleashed on the world, but he is definitely up there with the best of them. He has plenty of awards to back this statement up, so you can definitely put him in the top 10.

Which awards has Gareth Bale won?

Throughout his glittering career, which ended at the age of just 33, he has won some of the sport’s most coveted awards. Examples include the following:

  • UEFA Champions League on no less than 5 separate occasions (2013/14, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18, and 2021/22) with Real Madrid
  • La Liga (2016/17, 2019/20, 2021/22) – Real Madrid
  • Copa del Rey (2013/14) – Real Madrid
  • EFL Cup (2007/08) – Tottenham Hotspur
  • FIFA Club World Cup (2014, 2017, 2018) – Real Madrid

Personal awards

On a personal level, Gareth Bale has won the Tottenham Hotspur Young Player of the Year award, the Tottenham Hotspur Player of the Year award, the Welsh Footballer of the Year award, the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award, the PFA Young Player of the Year award, and the Premier League Player of the Season award.

Additionally, he has also been the recipient of The Football League Team of the Decade award, the UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season award, the UEFA Team of the Year award, and the BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year award, to name just a few.

What’s next for Gareth Bale?

According to certain reputable sources, Gareth Bale has amassed a tidy fortune of around $145 million, so what’s next for the Welsh star? Will he turn his hand to professional golf? He’s certainly still young enough.

Will he try and increase his wealth further by adding to his property portfolio? Will he buy a Welsh football club and try to transform them into a decent side, just like Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have managed to do at Welsh side Wrexham AFC? Wrexham is currently second in the National League (the fifth tier of the English football league system).

It’s anybody’s guess as to what’s next for Gareth Bale. One thing that is for sure is that we haven’t heard the last of Bale just yet. He has already stated that he is looking for a new adventure, which could mean having something to do with football or something completely different.

Could he become a pundit and regularly commentate on some of today’s biggest games? Will he get into coaching? Does he have it in him to become a professional football manager like so many other players before him, such as Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Mikel Arteta, and Patrick Vieira? We will just have to wait and see.