Gareth Bale: World Cup the dream, 2022 could be this Wales group’s last chance | Foot…


Gareth Bale has admitted the 2022 World Cup could be the last opportunity for many within the current Wales set-up to reach the major tournament.

Wales have not qualified for the World Cup since 1958, but are set to play in the European Championships for a second straight time this summer having reached the semi-finals five years ago.

Before the Euros, Wales kick-off their qualifying campaign for next year’s World Cup in Qatar, and Bale said there is an “expectation” this group can end that 64-year wait.

“Over the last six or seven years, we’ve got better and better, qualifying for two major tournaments now but the next step is to keep qualifying, not just doing it now and again,” Bale said ahead of Wales’ first qualifier against Belgium on Wednesday, live on Sky Sports.

“We have an expectation to qualify and we’ll of course be doing our best to try and do that.

“It’s a bit strange having the World Cup qualifiers when we haven’t actually played the Euros yet, but as soon as we come here we know it’s an important game.

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“Qualifying for a World Cup is the dream, any player would be lying if they said they didn’t want to be playing in it.

“So yeah, it probably is our last chance for us to qualify for it as a group. It’s one of those things, we’re going to try and give everything we can to try and do that. We know it’s going to be difficult but we’re going to give it everything.”

Bale said Wales have identified weaknesses in Belgium ahead of the World Cup qualifier.

Wales are unbeaten in their last four games against Belgium, most recently winning their Euro 2016 quarter-final meeting 3-1.

Gareth Bale in action for Wales


Gareth Bale says Wales have identified weaknesses in the Belgium team as they prepare to face each other in their World Cup qualifier

“We’ve played Belgium a lot of times, maybe we’re their bogey team, I don’t know,” added Bale. “We always put a shift in no matter who we play.

“They’re a very good team and they have a lot of attacking talent on the pitch, but they also have weaknesses as well.

“We obviously have a game plan and we’ve been working on it for the last few days and we’re going to give 100 per cent like we always do for our country.”

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Wales assistant Robert Page added: “As a team, we fully respect what we’re up against, Belgium are the number one seeds and they’re there for a reason.

“They’re a fantastic outfit, but we’ve got players in our team that can hurt them and we’ve identified areas that we can exploit.

“We have a game plan moving forward and we’re looking forward to the game. Like I said we have a plan that can win us the game and we’ll do the best to do just that.”

www.skysports.com2021-03-24 08:38:00


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