Gareth Bale vows talk of his future will not be a distraction for Wales

Gareth Bale has stressed again that he will sort out his future after playing for Wales at Euro 2020 and will not “cause any distractions for myself or for the team”.

Real Madrid striker Bale said after the final game of his Tottenham loan spell on May 23 that he knows where his future lies after this summer, but claimed it would “cause chaos” if he revealed it now.

Bale, 31, will lead Wales at this summer’s European Championship and was asked at a squad media day to address reports in Spain that he could retire after the tournament.

Wales Training Session – Vale Resort
Gareth Bale training with the Wales squad ahead of the delayed 2020 European Championship (Simon Galloway/PA)

“Obviously there’s been a lot of things written about whether I’m doing this and doing that,” Bale said.

“For me, the main thing is I don’t want to say anything that’s going to cause more chaos or more drama or cause a distraction. I just want to focus on this Euros.”

Wales start their campaign against Switzerland in Baku on June 12 before playing Turkey in the Azerbaijani capital four days later.

Robert Page’s side then complete their group fixtures against Italy in Rome on June 20.

Bale said: “I don’t need any distractions going into it, during it.

“I’m fully focused 110 per cent on Wales. That’s all my mind is on.

“I don’t want to cause any problems anywhere because I know things can get mixed in the media and people start making headlines.

“I don’t want to cause any distractions for myself or for the team. My sole focus is on Wales, this Euros and nothing else. Anything else about my career, my future, will be sorted after.”

Leicester City v Tottenham Hotspur – Premier League – King Power Stadium
Gareth Bale ended the season with 16 goals for Tottenham and the best goal-to-minute ratio in the Premier League (Shaun Botterill/PA)

Bale had a mixed season back at Spurs after returning to his former club for the 2020-21 season in September.

Manager Jose Mourinho never seemed to trust him fully before the Portuguese left the club at the end of April and Bale spent large periods of the campaign on the bench.

But he ended the season with 16 goals and had the best goal-to-minute ratio in the Premier League – scoring every 83.9 minutes.

He said: “It was great to finish off the season, the last few months, in goalscoring form.

Dinamo Zagreb v Tottenham Hotspur – UEFA Europa League – Round of Sixteen – Second Leg – Stadion Maksimir
Gareth Bale (left) was not always a Tottenham regular under Jose Mourinho (right)

“All it took was for me to be playing games. I knew that. I think a lot of people knew that.

“It was just game time. Once I was given the opportunity to keep playing and get my actual Premier League fitness up it felt natural that my form would be back and I’d start scoring.

“It was no surprise to me, it just needed to happen.”

There are eight survivors from the Wales squad which reached the Euro 2016 semi-finals – Bale, Aaron Ramsey, Ben Davies, Chris Gunter, Danny Ward, Joe Allen, Jonny Williams and Wayne Hennessey – with 19 of the 26 players having 25 caps or fewer.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Seven of the squad are in single figures and uncapped midfielder Rubin Colwill has played just 191 minutes of senior football since making his Cardiff debut in February.

“Having the experience of a major tournament is always beneficial,” Bale said.

“There will be moments where that experience will be vital. If we need to give advice to the youngsters, the ones who haven’t played in the tournament before, we can.

“But then also they are good players. We feel they’ll be fine on that stage.”