Gareth Bale's stint with LAFC was a short but memorable one as the Welsh forward hangs up his cleats. From the academy at Southampton to making a name for himself at Tottenham to stardom at Real Madrid and LAFC, Bale has won just about everything that there is to win, while also putting the Welsh national team into the spotlight.
Bale's last club soccer moment, rising above Jack Elliott of the Philadelphia Union to score a game tying header in the 128th minute of play to force a penalty shootout in LAFC's first ever MLS Cup win, is a fitting end to a career littered with historical moments for Bale.
He has won Champions League five times, the Club World Cup four times, the European Super Cup three times, La Liga and the Spanish Super Cup three times, MLS Cup, the MLS Supporters' Shield, Copa Del Rey, Golden Boot at the 2017-18 Club World Cup, 2012-13 Premier League player of the year, the 2008 EFL Cup trophy and six Welsh footballer of the year awards. Bale also redefined transfers when his move in the summer of 2013 from Tottenham to Real Madrid made him the first 100 million Euro man as Los Blancos paid Spurs 111 million dollars for Bale. It proved to be money well spent as well.
"We want to thank Gareth for everything he brought to our Club," LAFC Co-President & General Manager John Thorrington said. "He arrived here with a goal to win championships in L.A., and, like he has done everywhere else in his career - he succeeded. It was an honor to have one of the most talented, dynamic and exciting players of his generation finish his career with a title for LAFC, and we wish Gareth, his wife Emma, and their family nothing but the best in their future endeavors."
Retiring at 33 to take on new adventures, Bale has had an impressive career. Transitioning from left back to the wing, Bale had devastating pace to beat anyone in his path but even when injuries and age caused that pace to diminish, Bale was able to transition into more of a target forward and keep his career going.
Bale amassed 186 career goals and 139 assists across 554 appearances for four clubs. The last two goals of his career couldn't have come at better times either with Bale also scoring at the World Cup against the United States from the penalty spot. That World Cup appearance was the first of his career and Wale's first World Cup since 1958.