Gareth Bale receives fond farewell from Cardiff crowd before Wales v Latvia

Gareth Bale was given a rousing send-off by Wales supporters before their Euro 2024 qualifier against Latvia in Cardiff.

Five-times Champions League winner Bale retired from football in January after making a record 111 appearances for the Wales men’s national team.

The former Real Madrid star also scored an all-time best 41 goals during a 16-year international career which saw him play at two European Championships and last year’s World Cup.

He was introduced to the sell-out Cardiff City Stadium crowd before kick-off as fans sang ‘Viva Gareth Bale’ – the song that became synonymous with his Wales career.

Gareth Bale applauds the fans in Cardiff
Gareth Bale applauds the fans in Cardiff (David Davies/PA).

“I just want to say what an honour it has been to represent my country and play in front of the best fans in the world,” said Bale, 33, addressing the capacity crowd after flying back from his Los Angeles home.

“You’ve supported me and my family through the lowest of lows and the highest of highs.

“It’s been a pleasure to play in front of you throughout my whole career.

“You make it so special to what it is today and I will be cheering on like you. I will see you see some time in the future.”