Gareth Bale claims he “never planned” to retire as he seeks to dispel any worries about his future by leading Wales to their first World Cup since 1958.

Bale was evasive when asked about reports that he might retire after Euro 2020 before the competition.

When asked about his future with Wales after the round of 16 loss to Denmark, the 32-year-old walked away.

“For me, it was better not to say anything and concentrate on the job in hand,” said Bale.

“I never planned to finish. Like I said before, I just wanted to concentrate on the Euros and didn’t want to explain myself. I didn’t feel like I needed to. I still don’t feel like I need to.

“No matter what I said I was going to do whether I was going to stay, leave, retire or whatever, I think it would have caused a big and annoying story and a distracting story.”

Bale’s list of accomplishments is notable for the lack of a World Cup appearance, despite the fact that he is only three matches away from reaching 100 caps for Wales.

“Of course I want to play in a World Cup for Wales, not just for myself but for the country as a whole,” he said.

“I think it would be an incredible experience for the nation. We’re obviously fully focused on trying to do that.

“We’ve got another important game tomorrow [against Belarus] and in terms of the caps, every player would like to get to 100 caps. I know I’m very close and it will be nice if I can get it done.”

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