The Real Madrid star dropped the hint that he could exclude himself from the battle for selection, but he remains very much part of the group
Gareth Bale, who is enjoying a fresh start at Real Madrid this season, has been included in Wales’ latest team bring any talk of international retirement to an end.
The 32-year-old before Euro 2020 duty hinted that he could write the last chapters in a career with his country producing 96 caps.
However, he ‘got the bug back’ and national team coach Rob Page expects a talismanic figure to remain part of his plans until the 2022 World Cup.
What was said?
Page, who led Wales to the last 16 of this summer’s European Championship, said Sky Sports to have a happy Bale available: ‘This is great news. You want all your players to play competitive football when they come to camp.
‘To let one of your players play in week is week out of a bonus, but if you let Gareth play now and find that he gets the mistake back, which I saw in some of his performances for Tottenham at the back has last season, is good news for us. ”
He further said if he had ever discussed the pension conversation with Bale, adding: ‘Not at all.
‘He has a weekly hunger to play for his club, and he has an absolute hunger and desire to play for Wales, and as long as I can see that there are no problems in his performances.
How long will Bale continue to play?
A man who became the most expensive player in the world when he joined Real in 2013, only has a contract at club level until next summer, and many suggest he can then hang up his shoes.
However, Page is confident that an ambitious artist will extend his career – especially as the next World Cup in Qatar will only take place in the winter of 2022.
He added: ‘As a player, manager, you want to be part of a World Cup. The boys will become history if they qualify. [Bale] going to want to be a part of it.
“He is no different, but to do that you simply can not turn up to play for Wales. You have to give the best and play for your club. There is no argument, he marks all the boxes.”
Wales, who will enter into a friendly with Finland on September 1, have a qualifying match against Belarus and Estonia – with three points from their first two matches in Group E.
Wales team in full
Goalkeepers: Hennessey, Ward, A Davies.
Defenders: B Davies, Gunter, Rodon, Ampadu, N Williams, Lockyer, Lawrence, Norrington-Davies.
Midfielders: Ramsey, Allen, J Williams, Wilson, Brooks, Morrell, Smith, Levitt, Thomas, Colwill.
Forwards: Bale, James, Moore, T Roberts, Johnson.