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Bale will continue as long as he is wanted by Wales

By AFP
30 November 2022   |   3:05 pm
Gareth Bale shot down suggestions he could have played his final game for Wales after bowing out of the World Cup at the group stage.

Wales’ forward #11 Gareth Bale applauds at the crowd after being defeated 3-0 in the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between Wales and England at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha on November 29, 2022. (Photo by ANDREJ ISAKOVIC / AFP)

Gareth Bale shot down suggestions he could have played his final game for Wales after bowing out of the World Cup at the group stage.

Bale was forced to come off at half-time of a 3-0 defeat to England on Tuesday with a hamstring injury.

The 33-year-old, who holds the record for both caps and goals for his country, has consistently ridden to Wales’ rescue in recent years despite limited playing time at the club level with Real Madrid and now Los Angeles FC.

But he struggled to make an impact in Qatar, despite scoring Wales’ only goal of the tournament from the penalty spot against the USA.

“I’ll keep going as long as I can and as long as I’m wanted,” Bale told the BBC.

“It’s a difficult moment now. But we go again. We have a qualifying campaign (for Euro 2024) starting in March and we have a few months to get away from international football now.”

Bale’s goals in qualifying inspired Wales to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1958.

But Rob Page’s men fell well short of their runs to the knockout stage of each of the last two European Championships as they managed just one point from their three group games.

“We would have loved to have gone past the group, but football is difficult. Teams go through good runs and bad runs, and we didn’t quite live up to our expectations this tournament,” added Bale.

“But we’ll take massive experience from it and going forward we need to look at how far we’ve come.

“To be at a World Cup, if you’d asked us that two years ago, we’d have all pinched ourselves. It’s disappointing to go out but we’ll all walk out of that changing room with our heads held high and proud of each other.”

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