‘There’s no shelter, we’re getting older’: Gareth Bale reveals this World Cup qualifying campaign could be his last, with Wales star turning 33 for next year’s tournament in Qatar
- Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale admitted his future at the international level is uncertain
- Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Joe Allen may not be in the next qualifying cycle
- Wales will host the Czech Republic on Tuesday in search of their first points in Group E.
Gareth Bale admits his international career is coming to an end with Wales’ current World Cup qualifying campaign, possibly his last.
Wales will play against the Czech Republic in Cardiff on Tuesday, looking for their first points in group E after an opening defeat against Belgium.
Bale and his company still have this summer’s postponed European Championship finals to look forward to, but the Tottenham Welsh captain will be 33 by the time of the 2022 World Cup final in Qatar.
Forward Gareth Bale (left) has admitted Wales World Cup qualifying campaign may be his last
“ I haven’t really thought much about this campaign, ” said Bale, who insisted he had not been ‘disrespectful’ last week when he set out his end-of-season plans to finish the final year of his Real Madrid contract. to work.
‘It is clear that we are not going into hiding, we are getting older and it may be the last campaign. If so, it won’t change my way of thinking. As always, I will commit myself 100 percent.
‘We still have a big tournament to play in the summer and then we will continue with these qualifying matches. I am purely focused on the present and what is happening now. Whatever happens in the future will happen. ‘
Bale had a slow start to his return to Spurs on a season-long loan from Real after arriving with ‘a minor problem in my knee’.
The Welsh talisman will have reached 33 by the time the 2022 World Cup rolls around Qatar
But he has scored six goals in as many matches in February and early March, saying he has the ‘form and speed’ to harass Czech opponents, who have opened their campaign by beating Estonia and signing with Belgium.
Bale said, ‘Trust is extremely important in football. Whether you are the best or the worst player, confidence as a footballer is, especially for me, one of the most important things.
‘When you play in the last third, you have to take risks, feel good about yourself and be able to beat a defender, shoot and score goals. I wouldn’t say it’s a game you have to win, but we want to win the game.
‘We don’t want to immediately start a campaign with two losses. In the last Euro campaign we started with a win, but we had two defeats in the bounce. We don’t think about losing. We understand that it is not a sprint, but a marathon. ‘
Interim boss Robert Page backed Ben Cabango to return after receiving racial abuse
Wales manager Robert Page says Ben Cabango is in the right mood to be involved on Tuesday after being racially abused online over the weekend.
South Wales police are investigating after Cabango and Rabbi Matondo were racially abused on social media following Saturday’s friendly victory over Mexico.
Matondo was one of three Welsh players – Hal Robson-Kanu and Tyler Roberts were the others – who was sent home Monday for a violation of Football Association of Wales protocol.
The Czechs have no defender Ondrej Kudela, who is accused of racially abusing Glen Kamara when Slavia beat Prague Rangers in a Europa League match at Ibrox on March 18. Slavia refused to let Kudela return to the UK, partly out of fear for his safety.
About that Rangers incident, Page said, “We’re aware of it. My focus is on my players and making sure they are okay. ‘They are strong characters and we will make sure they have the full support of the Football Association of Wales, the players and the staff.
“I had breakfast with both players the next morning and made sure they were in the right mood and had as little discomfort as possible.”
Cardiff forward Kieffer Moore, whose fifth international goal secured victory over Mexico, has been cleared to play after suffering a heel injury.
The 95-time capped Wayne Hennessey was able to start after he was missed in Belgium after a thigh injury. The Crystal Palace goalkeeper impressed against Mexico in his first appearance in Wales since October.