WALES do not expect the World Cup to be a last hurrah for Gareth Bale.
And Wales boss Robert Page is planning for the Los Angeles FC star to still be in his squad for the Euro 2024 qualifiers next year.
When asked if 108-cap and 40-goal Bale will retire after Qatar, Page said: “He will carry on. I expect him to be there. I do.
“I will tell you why, irrespective of what is going on in his career, he is always there for Wales. Whether he is playing or not at club level he just loves playing for Wales.
“If we have two games back-to-back, I’ll say to him, ‘You’re not starting the second game, I’ll see how it goes and might need you late on’.
But he will be the one going to me on the bench, ‘Get me on. I want minutes. I can affect the game.’ I am having to pull the reins on him. He just loves playing for Wales, especially in Cardiff.”
After moving Stateside after leaving Real Madrid in the summer, Bale stated the LA move could help him reach Euro 2024.
Bale started his World Cup preparations in the Welsh capital last week before the ex-Spurs ace was joined by his team-mates at their Vale of Glamorgan HQ yesterday.
Page’s squad fly to Doha on Tuesday but Bale met legends Cliff Jones and Terry Medwin – survivors from the nation’s last finals appearance in 1958 – before the trip to the Middle East.
Bale told Jones and Medwin in footage released by the Football Association of Wales on Sunday morning: “I’ve been doing extra training because I had a free week.
“I wanted to come back earlier so I can adjust and do some training. If you go a week without training then you start to feel it when you join the others.
“At least I have been training in warm weather in LA so I’ll be used to it in Qatar. It should be good. I’m feeling good. I just want to qualify out of the group. That’s all I care about.
“We have a good chance of getting through. We will give it everything.”