Football legend and community hero Dennis ‘Den Den’ Hutchinson has died aged 63


Gareth Bale has said his future in football does not depend on the outcome of Wales’ World Cup play-off final against Ukraine on Sunday.

Bale, who was the world’s most expensive player when he joined Real Madrid from Tottenham in 2013, has confirmed he will leave the European champions when his contract expires at the end of this month.

The 32-year-old has been linked with a return to Spurs, where he spent the 2020-21 campaign on loan, as well as hometown club Cardiff City, while it has also been suggested he could take his retirement if Wales do not qualify for Qatar. 2022.

Bale, however, has insisted the result of Sunday’s clash at Cardiff City Stadium will not affect his decision on what he does next season.

When asked if his future hinges on the vital clash, Bale replied: “Not necessarily, no. As I said before, I’m not focusing on what awaits us in the future.

“We have a huge game to focus on. I really don’t need to think or worry about anything else. I don’t have any other worries.”

When asked if he already had any offers on the table for the next term, Bale replied: “I’ve got plenty!”

Limited to just seven appearances in all competitions for Madrid this season, Bale also missed Wales’ Nations League clash against Poland on Wednesday.

However, the talismanic striker, who hosted Saturday’s press conference at the Wales training ground rather than the stadium, said he was fit and ready for the game against Ukraine.

“After practice, I have my routines,” he explained. “When we have the press conference at the Vale, it’s convenient. I can do my business and get ready for the game.

“Having to take two hours out of my day to get to the stadium didn’t quite work out. So we did it that way. Apologies, but unfortunately the game is over!”

Bale also said he would not apologize to Ukraine if Wales overtook them to qualify for their first World Cup since 1958.

Millions of Ukrainians have been displaced and thousands left to defend their homeland after Russia invaded the country in March.

When asked if he would apologise, Bale replied: “Awful as it sounds, no. As it’s a football game and it’s a competition that we also want to participate in.

“Everyone in the world feels for Ukraine. It’s the sport that unites everyone. We understand what it will do for Ukraine, but we want to go to the World Cup.

“It doesn’t come from a horrible place. It comes from our country and our hearts, because we want to give to our own fans.”

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