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Gareth Bale wants “fairytale” final shot at World Cup qualification with Wales

Gareth Bale is desperate for “one more fairytale” as he prepares for a final shot at World Cup qualification with Wales.

The star has a packed trophy cabinet, including four Champions League wins with Real Madrid.

He also starred as Wales reached the last four of Euro 2016 and helped them to this summer’s Euros.

But he is yet to grace the biggest stage of all at a World Cup finals.

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And his beloved Wales haven’t appeared at a finals since 1958.

But the nation’s record scorer and captain, who has 33 goals in 87 caps, wants to change that.

And he freely admits Qatar 2022 is likely to be his last chance as he prepares to lead Wales in their opening qualifier in Belgium on Wednesday night.

Bale says he loves international duty ahead of winning his 88th cap in Belgium
Bale says he loves international duty ahead of winning his 88th cap in Belgium

Bale, 31, said: “We want to give it our best shot and possibly it is the last time I will be able to qualify for a World Cup.

“It is the one thing left I want to achieve.

“Hopefully there is still one more fairytale to happen.

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“It would be amazing to play for Wales in a World Cup, that is the dream for me.

“We need to give it a really good go and give everything for the country.

“It might be the last time our generation has the chance to qualify for a World Cup.

“It is massive for us and we want to try and take this opportunity to qualify.

“We haven’t done that for a long time.

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Wales famously beat Belgium 3-1 in Lille in the quarter-final of Euro 2016 with goals from Ashley Williams, Hal Robson-Kanu and Sam Vokes

“It is something that all of us players dream of doing, playing in a World Cup for Wales, and we’ll give everything in this campaign to do that.

“Coming into my Wales career the main thing was to play in a major tournament.

“We’ve managed to do that and now to be able to tick everything off the list, it would be to qualify for a World Cup.”

Belgium top the FIFA world rankings and have not lost at home in a competitive game since 2010.

But Wales are unbeaten against the Red Devils in their last four meetings.

Bale has made 25 appearances on loan for Spurs from Real Madrid this term

Bale says he feels sharp coming into the game despite being an unused sub for Wales on Sunday in their Premier League win at Aston Villa.

Bale, who has made 25 appearances for Spurs this term on loan from Real Madrid, added: “Over the last few years this is probably the most match fitness I’ve had.

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“I’m feeling fresh and ready to go.”

Wales went close previously to making the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

But Bale was absent injured in Wales’ last qualifier in October 2017 as the Republic of Ireland beat them 1-0 in Cardiff to reach the play-offs instead.

Bale added: “I was up in the stands and it was very frustrating, I felt like I was kicking every ball.

“It was obviously difficult after the game to have the loss and have the dream of World Cup qualifying end.

“Hopefully we can draw on those experiences in a positive way and use that hurt to push us even harder this time around.

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“We know it’s going to be a difficult game against Belgium but we’re going to give everything.”

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