Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale insists Wales' World Cup journey will not decide club future

Tom Gott
Bale's focus is solely on Wales
Bale's focus is solely on Wales / Athena Pictures/GettyImages

Gareth Bale has cooled suggestions that Wales' World Cup hopes could play a part in deciding his next move at club level.

The forward has left Real Madrid following the expiry of his contract and has put all talk of his next move on hold until after Sunday's play-off final against Ukraine, which will decide whether or not Bale and Wales make it to Qatar later this year.

There have been rumours suggesting Bale could retire if Wales fail to qualify or that he may take a more relaxed view on his next club if he does not have a World Cup to prepare for, but the 32-year-old stressed that is not the case.

“Not necessarily, no," he replied when asked if the play-off final will be decisive to his next move.

“I’ve said many times that I’m not concentrating on what lies ahead in the future. All my focus is on this massive game and I really don’t need to think or worry about anything else.”

Bale was then invited to discuss whether he had a 'stack' of offers from clubs looking to sign him, to which he responded: "I've got loads!"

On the play-off final, Bale admitted that wanting to defeat Ukraine is a tough sentiment, given the country's current battle against the Russian invasion, but the Wales winger insisted his side can afford to think about nothing other than football.

“We understand the awful things going on in Ukraine. Our hearts go out to the kids, families and people of Ukraine," Bale explained. “We’ve all felt awful during this time and not been able to do too much. But come Sunday, it’s a game of football. We want to win.

“It’s difficult to say whether it’s ‘the’ big game [of his career]. We played in the semi-final of a European Championship.

“But it’s a massive game. There’s no hiding it. We’ve only ever played in one World Cup. This is a stepping stone to the biggest level and we’re desperate to win to achieve our goal.

“Everyone wants to play at a World Cup. It’s no different for me – it is missing [on his CV] – or for every member of the squad and coaching staff.”