Bale positive he will be fit for the World Cup

Wed 21 September 2022 | 14:07

Gareth Bale provided an update on his fitness saying that he is close to being fully fit for the World Cup in November. Rob Page also believes that Wales will benefit from the way his club is handling his situation in Major League Soccer.

Gareth Bale

has only been in the starting XI twice during his first 11 matches for

Los Angeles FC

, and has not yet featured for his side since making a move to the club in July. The 33-year-old says himself that he is doing his best to become fit for the World Cup in Qatar and the end of the MLS season.

"We have a plan in LA with what we're doing,"

said Bale, who is expected to be part of the Wales squad for their upcoming Nations League battles against Belgium and Poland.

"We're not doing too much straight away. Every footballer wants to play as much as they can, but we're being clever and building myself up for the last important part of the season.

"Hopefully that should put me in great shape for the World Cup. I think I'll be a lot fitter. I haven't played 90 minutes yet, which is what I'm building up to.

"We're on a good path to where I want to be. Of course I want to play 90 minutes as much as I can, but I understand I need to build up to that because I haven't done it an awful lot in the last few years.

"The most important thing for me is to take each week as it comes.

"Hopefully that will be good enough for me to help LAFC and, ultimately, be ready for the World Cup."

The Wales international rejected offers he received from clubs in Europe and decided to make a move to the United States following his nine-year spell with Real Madrid.

He is happy with his new lifestyle and his family are enjoying life in the US.

Bale said:

"I am very happy. My family are settled there, which is a big part, and the fans have been really supportive.

"It's taken a little while to get everything sorted, but I am playing games and have been training for the last 10 weeks and getting stronger.

"We now have an important stretch of games in the MLS and, after that, my attention will turn to the World Cup.

"The plan is just to be 100 per cent to help LAFC first and foremost. Ultimately, that will lead into me being 100 per cent fit for the World Cup."

Robert Page, the Wales coach, thinks the player is being appreciated in the US after his departure from Los Blacons.

"It's oozing out of him so you can see it's been the right move for him and his family,"

Page said.

"Whether it's the lifestyle, or the welcome he got from his own players. Who wouldn't want to go into training every day? We talk about the environment he works in here with Wales, but he seems to get that when in LA.

"The family are happy, he's got them with him and it seems like he's back enjoying his football albeit he's not playing 90 minutes, 90 minutes. He knew that when he went over there. He knew that he wasn't going to be playing week in, week out."

However, he has been dealing with fitness issues since the qualifying campaign for Wales for the World Cup.

"We've had him on camp before where he's won us games without having played any minutes of club football, so any minutes we get out of Gareth now is a bonus," the Wales boss continued. "I'm pleased and it's the best outcome for me.

"It's different at club level as you can create that environment. If you haven't got a Gareth Bale fit, you can perhaps buy someone who is as good as him. It's no disrespect to the fringe players here in the squad, but we haven't got two or three Gareth Bales. We have to look after him slightly differently.

"When he goes back to his club, where he is at the moment, he's being treated with the same respect that we did and they'll get the best out of him. I was the same when I played. If I was looked after off the pitch and treated with respect, I'd be in the best frame of mind to go out at the weekend to perform.

"We've always had a common sense approach with Gareth with regards to his planning and training. It'll be no different on this camp. I'm not going to jeopardise it and run the risk of him getting injured, which will have an impact on November and the World Cup.

"I want him to go back to his club fully fit, and continuing to get fitter ahead of the World Cup."

Page also insisted that he will check Bale’s fitness before putting him in the starting XI for the game against Belgium on Thursday.

"You wouldn't have thought he'd just got off a flight from the States," said Page, who is without injured quartet Aaron Ramsey, Ben Davies, Harry Wilson and Joe Allen this week.

"His preparation started as soon as the final whistle went in his game. He goes to the nth degree.

"I'm not surprised by his professionalism, but I was surprised with how fresh he looked."

Wales are sitting bottom of their Nations League A4 as they have only gained one point from four games.

source: SportMob

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