- Gareth Bale announced a shock retirement in January after leading Wales to the World Cup
- The former Real Madrid star appeared at the stadium ahead of Cymru's game versus Latvia
- Bale had been touted to join Rob Paige's backroom staff but has held off on the decision
Gareth Bale shocked the football world when he announced his retirement from professional football in January, after leading Wales to their first World Cup since 1958.
The 33-year-old is arguably the greatest Welsh footballer of all time. He had a remarkable career at Real Madrid and was once the most expensive footballer when he moved to Spain in 2013.
He made his first appearance in front of the Welsh fans since the end of the World Cup, ahead of Cymru's 1-0 win over Latvia in the Euro 2024 qualifying series.
Bale's speech to Wales fans
The five-time UEFA Champions League winner got emotional in front of the fans during his speech at the Cardiff City Stadium, as reported by Sun UK.
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"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,'' he said.
''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."
Bale admitted he would miss playing in front of his home fans.
''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.''
Bale drop hint about future
It remains to be seen where the former Tottenham forward's future lies. British GQ reported that he made his PGA debut in golf, shortly after his retirement in January.
Mirror UK also reported that Bale had been offered a role in the Wales backroom staff by head coach, Rob Paige. The end of his speech hints this could be his next move.
Guardiola hints Bale's next adventure
Sports Brief also reported on Pep Guardiola joking that Bale has a career waiting after the Welshman announced his retirement from professional football in January.
The Spanish manager tipped the former Real Madrid star to take up golf full-time, making reference to Bale's famous slogan of: 'Wales, golf, Madrid. In that order.'