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Wales captain Gareth Bale has no plans to retire from international football

Wales captain Gareth Bale has no plans to retire from international football

Gareth Bale has insisted that he has no plans to retire from international football, with the attacker planning to be a part of Wales‘ qualification campaign for Euro 2024.

The 33-year-old played the full 90 minutes against the USA and Iran in his country’s first two games at the 2022 World Cup, finding the back of the net from the penalty spot in the draw with the former on November 21.

Bale also started against England on Tuesday, but he had to be substituted at the interval of the Group B contest due to a hamstring problem, and Wales went on to lose 3-0 to the Three Lions to exit the competition.

There had been claims that the Los Angeles FC forward was considering retiring from international football following the tournament in Qatar.

However, Bale has said that he will continue ‘as long as he is wanted’, with the forward looking to add to the 111 caps and 40 goals that he has managed for the national side.

Wales' Gareth Bale looks dejected following defeat to Iran on November 25, 2022© Reuters

“I’ll keep going as long as I can and as long as I’m wanted,” he told BBC Sport after the defeat to England. “It’s a difficult moment now. But we go again.

“We have a qualifying campaign [for the European Championship] starting in March and we have a few months to get away from international football now, which is obviously disappointing.”

When asked whether he would be a part of Wales’ qualification campaign for Euro 2024, Bale responded: “I hope so, yes.”

The Dragons will face Croatia, Armenia, Latvia and Turkey as part of their qualification campaign for the next European Championship.

Gareth Bale in action for Wales on September 25, 2022© Reuters

Bale said that “everyone is disappointed” with the group-stage exit, but the attacker has explained the importance of looking at the bigger picture, with Wales competing at their first World Cup since 1958.

“Everyone is disappointed. I think we’re all proud of what we’ve achieved to get here. We have to look at how far we’ve come,” he added.

“Of course, 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.

“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.”

Bale joined Los Angeles FC at the end of June after leaving Real Madrid, and the Welshman has scored three goals in 14 appearances for the MLS outfit since his arrival.

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