• Tue. Oct 3rd, 2023

Wales manager wants Gareth Bale to remain involved in the international setup.

ByJosh Taylor

Jan 11, 2023

Wales manager Rob Page wants Gareth Bale to remain a member of the international squad after the star forward declared his retirement.
Wales manager Rob Page wants Gareth Bale to continue in the international team after the star forward declared his retirement.
Wales manager Rob Page wants Gareth Bale to continue in the international team after the star forward declared his retirement. Bale, a five-time Champions League champion at Real Madrid, announced his retirement on Monday after 111 caps and 41 goals for his country, both national records for the men’s team. The 33-year-old announced his retirement following Wales’ poor performance at the World Cup in Qatar, when Page’s squad failed to advance from their group and Bale suffered due to a lack of match fitness.
Page stated that Bale phoned him on Sunday to notify him of his intention to retire, and that he agreed with his captain completely.
“I told him I think it’s time to step down,” he told the BBC. “You’ve just scored a World Cup goal and have everything on your resume; what you’ve done for this country is incredible.”
Wales begin their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign in March, and Page stated that Bale, who was playing for Los Angeles FC in Major League Soccer, would have been picked for the double-header against Croatia and Latvia, maybe as an impact player off the bench.
“I’m feeling a combination of emotions,” he said. “I’m excited because it’s an option to introduce some of the younger guys through — people like Brennan Johnson to step up to the bat and capitalise on the opportunity — and get the next generation.”
“But there’s also a sense of grief since this will be Gareth Bale’s final appearance for Wales.”
Page stated that he has spoken with Bale about sticking with Wales, however the nature of any future position remained unknown.
“I would love for him to be engaged in some way, but I’m not sure what that position is yet,” he added. “It’s a difficult transition for him, entering into a normalish existence, but we’ll have another chat with him in a few weeks.
“We’ll devise a strategy going ahead since he has so much to offer in a changing room and hotel setting.”
Page indicated that he had discussed the idea of Bale continuing in the Wales squad with him. Though the precise nature of any prospective function is uncertain.

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