What Manchester United stars Raphael Varane and Casemiro have said to Gareth Bale following retirement

Varane, Casemiro and Bale played together for eight years at the Santiago Bernabeu and, during that time, the Spanish giants won two La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues with further success in other competitions. Albeit in a bit-part role, Bale added to those triumphs – alongside regular starter Casemiro – with a domestic and European double last season.

With such a glittering trophy cabinet between them, the trio served up countless memories while playing for an iconic Real side which also featured Sergio Ramos, Luka Modric, Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo and more. But there is one highlight that stands above the rest – for Varane at least.

Indeed, the France international – who left Madrid for United last summer – has thanked the former Wales captain for scoring that overhead kick against Liverpool in the 2018 Champions League showpiece. It came as Bale grabbed two goals to settle the scores in Kiev during what was a man-of-the-match performance.

Bale also played for Southampton, Tottenham and Los Angeles FC in a superb career that saw him pick up 111 caps for his country while playing at two major international tournaments. He announced his retirement on social media platforms this afternoon – drawing in widespread admiration.

Part of a statement on Instagram read: “I feel incredibly fortunate to have realised my dream of playing the sport I love. It has truly given me some of the best moments of my life. The highest of highs over 17 seasons, which will be impossible to replicate, no matter what the next chapter has in store for me.”

Replying among countless others in the comments section, Varane added: “Thank you always for that bicycle kick,” while posting a smile emoji.

He added: “Congratulations mate. Good luck in your next chapter.”

Casemiro then summed up his thoughts by referring to Bale as a footballing legend. He tweeted: “Thanks for all my friend. It was an honour playing with you. Legend!”