The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is arguably the last opportunity Gareth Bale has to play in the most prestigious football tournament. Unfortunately for the 32-year-old football star, there is one major obstacle on his way to realizing the dream of playing in the tournament which is the play-off against Austria Scheduled to take place later today, March 24, 2022, at 20:45.
Gareth Bale must help Wales to beat Austria in the play-off to stand a chance of playing either Scotland or Ukraine in the last phase of the European FIFA World Cup qualification series.
Bale has been the shining light in Wales’ football in the last 10 years. He has achieved virtually everything in club football, especially with Real Madrid.
Recall that Gareth Bale who played for Tottenham Hotspur between 2007 and 2013 before he moved to Real Madrid for a transfer fee worth €101 million didn’t win any major title with Spurs.
But at Real Madrid, the 32-year-old Welsh footballer helped the Spanish team to win two La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey, one Supercopa de España, four UEFA Champions League titles, three UEFA Super Cups, and three FIFA Club World Cup.
However, when it comes to international football, the best Bale has helped Wales to achieve are helping the country to qualify for two successive European Championship, and helping the country to go as far as reaching the semi-finals stage of the competition in 2016.
Since 1958, Wales has failed to qualify for the FIFA World Cup. The country came so close to qualifying in 2017 but the Republic of Ireland was there to stop Gareth Bale and his teammates.
In an interview Bale granted in 2021, the Real Madrid winger said the 2022 FIFA World Cup could be his last chance of featuring in the prestigious tournament.
Unfortunately for him, his form has been dropping drastically due to consistent fitness issues which have forced him to be a bench warmer at Real Madrid.
In a pre-match press conference ahead of Wales’ clash with Austria, Gareth Bale stressed that he and his teammates “have to give 100% and have no regrets”.
“We can draw on past experiences that have hurt us but also the excitement of what potentially is ahead, so there is a lot to play for”, he added.
“You can look to anything to help inspire us and there will not be a lot that needs to be said, a game of this magnitude speaks for itself and we’ll be ready to go tomorrow.”
Bale is Back ! 😍❤️🏴 pic.twitter.com/W2wKUdkeh3— Kanto Bale 🏴 (@KantoBale11) March 22, 2022
Gareth Bale would not regret not playing in the World Cup in his football career
Gareth Bale has been playing for Wales national team since May 27, 2016. Since he made his debut, the Walsh football legend has scored 36 goals in 100 games.
Though he has achieved everything in club football, many will doubt his legendary status in the game if he fails to mark his name as one of the players that have played in the FIFA World Cup.
Amid such a notion, Bale has made it clear that qualifying for the tournament is not in his hands, adding that he can only regret that he did not play in the World Cup if he and his teammates fail to give their 100 percent in the playoffs.
“I wouldn’t say it would be a regret if I didn’t play in a World Cup as it’s not really in my hands but it’s something I would love to achieve for myself, my country, the fans of Wales,” the Welsh captain said.
“It’s been a long time. It will only be regretful if we don’t give 100% and leave anything in the tank.
“Once you’ve done that there won’t be regrets regardless of the result. Hopefully, our best will be enough.
“Thinking about the future can cause doubts in your mind, so I’ve not been thinking about that. I’ve just been focusing on this game coming up and whatever happens in the future I’ll decide in the future.”
🗣 "Thinking about the future can cause doubts I guess in your own mind, so I've kind of not been thinking about that."— Football Daily (@footballdaily) March 23, 2022
Gareth Bale is asked if the result of tomorrow night effects his long term thinking on how long he can continue playing pic.twitter.com/hT4mXg4wDS
So far this season, Bale who reportedly earns €692,660-per-week has managed to make 5 appearances for Real Madrid in which he scored a goal. His contract with the Spanish giants will expire on June 30, 2022.
Never forget this ICONIC El Clasico run from Gareth Bale 🔥pic.twitter.com/MB63zGBL2V— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 20, 2022