Gareth Bale says Wales can have “no excuses” for not giving everything at the 2022 World Cup.
Wales ended a 64-year wait to qualify for a World Cup, and they will get their campaign underway against the USA before further Group matches against Iran and England.
Bale was just 16-years-old when he made his debut for Wales, so leading his nation to a World Cup is an especially proud moment for him. But he says history demands more of them than just thinking of themselves as being there to make up the numbers.
“I’m right where I want to be – I’m here! I’m ready to go,” Bale told the media from Wales’ World Cup base.
“We’ve all been training hard in the last week, adapting to the heat and time zone. We have no excuses now. We’ve put all the hard work in. Hopefully we can step up and deliver what needs to be delivered.”
The most important thing, according to Bale, is that they use the platform to inspire the next generation of Welsh talent.
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“As a kid you dream of seeing Wales in a World Cup but to actually be in the team that achieves it is an incredible feeling, an honour to be able to do it for our country,” he said.
“It’s going to be a fun time for us hopefully and one that we want to enjoy and have fun on the pitch as we always do as the national team.
“In terms of watching World Cups, it was always a little bit disappointing because Wales weren’t there. As a kid it does take that little bit of specialness away. Everybody’s dreamt of it for such a long time.
“For us to be the team that got over the line was incredible for us, but most importantly, the best thing was to do it for our country, inspire another generation and to get more kids playing football. By doing that we’ll hopefully have a stronger national team in the future.”