Welsh soccer star Gareth Bale is retiring with immediate effect. The 33-year-old surprisingly announced this on social media on Monday. He published two longer statements.

“After careful and careful consideration, I hereby announce my retirement from association football and international football,” wrote Bale, who most recently played for Los Angeles FC in the North American MLS.

During his career, the Welshman first played in England for Southampton FC and then for Tottenham Hotspur for several years.

In 2013 he moved to Spain to join record champions Real Madrid for the then record sum of 100 million euros, with whom he won countless titles, including the Champions League several times. After a brief comeback on loan at Tottenham, he moved to Los Angeles.

With the national team of Wales, Bale failed in the preliminary round at the World Cup in Qatar last year. After that, he initially announced that he would continue to be available to the team. The decision to retire from the national team after all was “by far the hardest of my career,” he asserted.