Football

World Cup 2022: Gareth Bale makes Wales promise after England defeat

Bale

Wales captain Gareth Bale says will continue representing his country for ‘as long as he can and as long as he’s wanted’.

His comments, as reported by BBC Sport, come after Wales lost 3-0 to England on Tuesday night.

The defeat means Wales leave the 2022 World Cup in Qatar having finished bottom of Group B. Rob Page’s side failed to win a single game, drawing once and losing twice.

Bale to continue Wales career for ‘as long as he’s wanted’

Bale started all three of Wales’ 2022 World Cup group matches. He netted his country’s first goal of the tournament in the 1-1 draw with the USA.

But he failed to make an impact against Iran, before being withdrawn at half-time against England. The captain explained that a hamstring injury forced him to come off during the break on Tuesday night.

But he is adamant that his Wales career is not over, and is already looking ahead to Euro 2024 qualification in March 2023.

Page’s men have been drawn to face Croatia, Turkey, Latvia and Armenia in Group D of qualifying. And Bale believes, if he is chosen, there is no reason why he can’t line out for his nation once again.

“Just because we have had a difficult tournament, it doesn’t mean it’s an end of an era,” said Bale. “It’s a difficult moment now, obviously – but we go again. We have a qualifying campaign starting in March.

“We have a few months to get away from international football which is disappointing, we would love to have stayed [at the World Cup] longer, but we go again in March.

“I’ll keep going as long as I can and as long as I’m wanted.”

Bale

Bale proud of reaching 2022 World Cup

Qatar 2022 represents the first time that Wales have failed to reach the knockout stages in their four major tournament appearances.

But Bale is confident that he and his teammates can recover quickly, with the captain proud of Wales’ achievement of getting to the World Cup. The forward is now his country’s most-capped player of all time.

At 33, there had been speculation that this tournament would be his last time playing for Wales. But the captain has vowed to learn from the experience in Qatar for future games.

“We are bitterly disappointed,” said Bale. “We wish we could have played better. We wish we could have done a great tournament.

“But football is difficult and I think we also need to realise we have come a long way in qualifying for this World Cup. We are all disappointed, but the one thing we can all hold our heads high [about] is that we gave everything on the pitch.

“Even though maybe the performances and results weren’t there, we all worked our socks off, we all stuck together, our fans were incredible like always and we are all proud of where we have come.

“We have to take these experiences and use them wisely and learn from the mistakes we have made, and hopefully we can start again in March to qualify for the Euros.”