REVEALED: Gareth Bale was told his Wales role ‘would change’ before he decided on retiring… with boss Rob Page ready to drop him and agreeing with his decision to quit football
- Wales boss Rob Page has agreed with the timing of Gareth Bale’s retirement
- The former Real Madrid star announced his farewell from the sport on Monday
- Page admitted that Bale’s role ‘might have changed’ if he’d continued with Wales
- The forward refused to rule out a potential return in his retirement message
- READ: Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti pays tribute to Bale upon retirement
Wales boss Rob Page has revealed that he told Gareth Bale ‘it’s the right time to bow out’, following the superstar’s shock retirement on Monday afternoon.
The former Santiago Bernabeu star called to an end to his illustrious career – which saw him win five Champions Leagues, three LaLigas and three Club World Cups – in an emotional post on social media.
The announcement shocked many, with Bale having only signed for MLS side LAFC in the summer, however national team boss Page admitted the news ‘didn’t come as a complete surprise’.
Wales legend Gareth Bale confirmed his decision to retire from club and international football
Wales boss Rob Page (pictured) admitted that Bale’s decision was a ‘complete surprise’
According to BBC Radio Wales, Page said: ‘[Decision] didn’t come as a complete surprise to me. I told him I think it’s the right time to bow out.’
Asked if Bale would’ve been selected, had he not retired, Pag said: ‘He would have had part to play. Roles might have changed slightly.
‘Would he be able to play 90 minutes back to back? Lessons have been learned from Qatar. Too big an ask probably, he might have been an impact player coming off the bench.’
As part of his retirement message, Bale refused to rule out potentially working with the national team again in the future.
Bale (L) was part of the Wales squad that played in the nation’s second ever World Cup
Page (L) and Bale stand together ahead of a press conference in Qatar during the World Cup
The former Real Madrid and Tottenham forward will retire as Wales’ all-time top goalscorer and most capped player in history – with 111 appearances in total.
Bale played the entirety of Wales’ World Cup campaign last month apart from the second-half against England after getting an injury and being subbed at half-time.
Against the USA, the forward won a penalty – which he converted – but they were held to a draw. They then lost to Iran and England respectively.
In his retirement statement, Bale wrote a message just for Wales fans to reiterate his passion for the national team and refused to rule out a potential return.
Bale will retired as the most capped player in Wales history – with 111 appearances in total
‘To my Welsh family… My decision to retire from International football has been, by far the hardest of my career,’ he wrote.
‘How do I describe what being a part of this country and team means to me? How do I articulate the impact it has had on my life? How do I put in to words the way I felt, every single time I put on that Welsh shirt?
‘My answer is that I couldn’t possibly do any of those things justice, simply with words. But I know that every person involved in Welsh football, feels the magic, and is impacted in such a powerful and unique way, so I know you feel what I feel, without using any words at all.
‘So for now I am stepping back, but not away from the team that lives in me and runs through my veins. After all, the dragon on my shirt is all I need.’
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