Gareth Bale issues four-word response on retirement after Wales qualify for World Cup

WALES beat Ukraine 1-0 in Cardiff to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar.

Posted Monday, June 06, 2022 by

Gareth Bale has joked he's willing to postpone his retirement "for a little bit" after helping Wales qualify for the World Cup in Qatar with a 1-0 victory over Ukraine in their closely-contested play-off final in Cardiff. The five-time Champions League winner is set to depart Real Madrid this summer upon the expiry of his contract in June and played a decisive role for his country once again by having a helping hand in the crucial winner.

Bale's 34th-minute free-kick was turned in off West Ham winger Andriy Yarmolenko to send the Cardiff City Stadium into ecstasy.

Yet the hard work was far from done as Wales were forced to defend wave after wave of Ukraine attack. Tottenham's Ben Davies and goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey were at the centre of the heroics.

Qualification means Bale will need to find a new club ahead of the 2022/23 season in order to maintain his fitness levels for the World Cup after he previously hinted at retirement if Wales had failed to qualify.

When asked by Sky Sports reporter Geraint Hughes if his retirement will be postponed, Bale replied: "For a little bit."

Gareth Bale issues four-word response on retirement after Wales qualify for World Cup
It was delight for Wales and Gareth Bale, who is set to continue his playing career

Bale's agent Jonathan Barnett has previously diffused talk of his client hanging up his boots, saying: "We have not discussed anything yet. Once we know Wales' situation with the World Cup, we will discuss it then."

Tottenham and Cardiff are among the favourites to sign Bale this summer and his return to British football now looks a formality after nine years in Spain.

The 32-year-old could barely contain his delight at helping Wales over the line.

He said: "Yeah the result is the greatest result in the history of Welsh football. We're all ecstatic, you can see it with the fans, we're going to the World Cup.

"It's what dreams are made of, it's what we've been working for since we first got here, I'm speechless because I'm so happy. We did it for all our amazing fans. Words don't describe how I feel at the moment."

Bale has been nursing a back problem in the past four weeks but he was able to battle through the pain barrier to play 82 minutes after previously scoring twice in the play-off semi-final against Austria in March.

"It was difficult, I haven't done too much over the last four weeks because of my back spasm which everyone knows about," he added.

"I was just happy to get through the game, contribute in any way I could, the important thing was to get the win and get through to the World Cup."

Wales now have three World Cup fixtures to mull over ahead of an exciting venture in Qatar in November.

The Dragons face the United States in their opening Group B fixture on November 22.

Iran are up next on November 25 before an exciting all-British showdown with England in their final match on November 29.

Rob Page will be keen to ensure celebrations to not go overboard though as Wales face three Nations League games in seven days against Netherlands.

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