Gareth Bale has laughed off questions surrounding his footballing future after Wales secured their place at the World Cup finals.
The Welshman was named in Robert Page’s starting eleven for the play-off final against Ukraine in Cardiff and played a key role in the only goal of the game when his cross took a deflection off Andriy Yarmolenko before it went into his own net.
Bale’s nine-year stint at Real Madrid came to an end at the start of the month following the conclusion of his contract at the current Champions League winners and is now available as a free agent.
There was speculation in the build-up to the match that Bale could decide to call time on his professional career if Wales failed to qualify for Qatar (ESPN).
The 32-year-old will now look forward to facing England, Iran and USA in Group B, with the tournament getting underway on Monday, November 21.
Bale has been linked with a potential return to Tottenham Hotspur (Independent) which would be his third stint in north London as he looks to keep himself match fit heading into the tournament towards the end of the year.
Bale told Sky Sports when asked if the qualification will shelve any plans to retire: “Maybe for a little bit!”
“The result is the greatest in Welsh football history. We’re going to a World Cup!
“It means everything, what dreams are made of, we’ve been working towards it since I first came in here. Words can’t describe how we feel at the moment.
“It’s what we’ve been working all our careers for and to do this for the fans, the nation, ourselves and our families is an incredible achievement, and it will be something that we will be forever proud of.
“It means everything. It is the last piece of the jigsaw that we all wanted and we’re going to celebrate well tonight.”
An appearance at a World Cup is something which Bale thoroughly deserves and will need regular football in the build-up to the competition to keep his match fitness levels at a high-enough standard, whether Spurs would be able to offer this given the competition for places is questionable.
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