Real Madrid winger, Gareth Bale is set to play his 100th international game for Wales national team later today, November 13, 2021.
The 32-year-old winger is expected to lead Wales to face Belarus at Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday at 20:45.
The former Tottenham Hotspur talisman has been battling fitness issues but he is not fit and ready to go. If Bale plays tonight, he would become the second player after Chris Gunter to play 100 times for Wales.
Gareth Bale made his first appearance for Wales national team on May 27, 2006. To date, he remains the youngest player to play for the country’s national team.
Bale’s first game for Wales was a friendly game against Trinidad & Tobago. He was 16 years and 315 days when he played the game.
For the past 15 years that he has been playing for Wales, the Real Madrid winger has scored 36 goals in 99 games making him the record highest goalscorer in Wales national team.
Gareth Bale’s availability was almost not certain for this November international break because he was battling a hamstring tear. He is however set to play Wales’ most important World Cup qualification matches against Belarus today, and against Belgium on November 16, 2021.
Ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Belarus later tonight, Gareth Bale described his journey in the national team as incredible.
“It has been an incredible journey and one that started very young,” he said.
“To get 100 caps will personally be an incredible achievement and one you never think about when you start.
“We have been through the lows when I first joined to grow Welsh football, to try to put it on the right path and inspire the generations coming through.
“I think even now the youngsters have watched us come from a lower-ranked team to a higher-ranked team. It has given them the drive to push to get better as we have been that inspiration through the years.
“We have all bought into it – the fans, the team, the staff – and every manager has bought into the same philosophy that we want to push Welsh football as far as we can.
“We have done a great job and hopefully there is more to come.”
Despite making 99 appearances for Wales and playing for the country in two UEFA European Championships, he is yet to play in a FIFA World Cup.
The biggest opportunity Gareth Bale has to play in a World Cup is in the forthcoming 2022 Qatar World Cup. His country are currently sitting on the 3rd spot in Group E with 11 points in 6 games.
Wales need to beat Belarus and get at least a draw in the game against Belgium to stand a chance of qualifying for Qatar.
Bale said: “The World Cup is something at the top of everyone’s list.
“It is the next thing we want to do – the thing we haven’t done before.
“As much as I will enjoy hopefully getting the 100th cap, the most important thing is the game and not the occasion.
“As soon as the whistle goes, I will not be thinking about anything other than getting three points.”
Gareth Bale says Wales is a "special country to be part of" as he gets set to win his 100th international cap ⚽ pic.twitter.com/gozCrZQDDZ— BBC Sport Wales (@BBCSportWales) November 13, 2021