Bale excited to complete ‘incredible journey’ to 100 caps

Date published: Friday 12th November 2021 4:08 - News Desk

Gareth Bale during a training session

Gareth Bale has expressed his pride in reaching 100 caps with Wales after overcoming his recent hamstring injury.

The Real Madrid winger was unavailable for last month’s international break due to the injury, missing out on the opportunity to achieve his 100th cap.

Bale became Wales’ youngest ever player in May 2006 when making his debut in a friendly against Trinidad & Tobago at the age of 16 years and 315 days.

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Over 15 years on and the 32-year-old will become the second Welshman after Chris Gunter to reach the three-figure milestone.

“It has been an incredible journey and one that started very young,” said Bale, Wales’ record scorer with 36 goals.

“To get 100 caps will personally be an incredible achievement and one you never think about when you start out.

“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 a 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 in to 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.”

The 32-year-old has played at two European Championships – his goals being instrumental in Wales reaching the semi-final of Euro 2016 in France – and playing at a World Cup remains a glaring omission on his celebrated CV.

“The World Cup is something at the top of everyone’s list,” said Bale, who admits he is being cautious over his fitness and may not last the full 90 minutes against Belarus.

“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.”

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