Belfast Telegraph

Bale is fired up to drive Welsh towards Qatar World Cup place

 

By Phil Blance

Gareth Bale is determined not to give up on his World Cup dream, despite missing out on the finals in Russia this summer.

Bale had to watch on helplessly because of injury as Wales' World Cup ambitions were ended in the final group game by the Republic of Ireland in October.

Although Bale will be 33 by the time of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the Real Madrid forward says he will be even more motivated to be at the tournament.

"It was a massive disappointment for all of us not to reach the World Cup having experienced the Euros, which was incredible," Bale said.

"But normally if we do well in one campaign we die away in the next. We were right there until the end, so we have to take the positives.

"Losing and missing out on the World Cup makes us even more hungry to qualify next time."

Bale has won 10 trophies since joining Real in 2013, including three Champions League titles.

But today's China Cup final against Uruguay would represent his first piece of silverware in a Wales jersey.

And, having become Wales' record goalscorer with a semi-final hat-trick against China, Bale believes the early signs under new manager Ryan Giggs are promising.

"It's a chance for us to keep building on what we've done," said Bale, who has been the centre of attention in Nanning.

"We want to build a strong squad for the future to keep on qualifying and be competitive in qualification and tournaments.

"We need to push in the same direction to make that happen."

Wales vs Urguguay

China Cup Final:

Guangxi Stadium, Today, 12.35pm

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