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Chris Gunter looks ahead to record 100th Wales cap and vows never to retire

Chris Gunter will make history on Saturday evening when he skippers Wales on his 100th cap and the stalwart insists he will never officially retire from international duty.

The right-back,31, displaced Neville Southall as Wales’ most capped player in November 2018 on his 93rd appearance.

Now the defender, who made his debut against New Zealand in 2007, is poised to become the nation’s first centurion.

It will be the biggest highlight yet for the likeable Charlton pro who pledges to always be there for Wales if needed.

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Reflecting on his landmark after Rob Page confirmed he will start in the home friendly against Mexico, Gunter said: “It means everything to me.

“As long as Wales need me I will be there ready and waiting.

“If there was ever a time where your country needs you or wants you, I don’t think I will be the one to end it.

Gunter has won 99 caps for Wales and will skipper the side against Mexico on Saturday night

“If I was 39 and got a call that everyone was out injured, then who wouldn’t make themselves available.

“If you retire and there is a real bad injury crisis, would you come back in years to come? I am not sure.

“Sometimes when you get to a high number of caps, people can forget your age and see you as old.

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“I am 31 and still feel really good , playing three times a week is not really a problem.

“You always want more appearances and success with club and country.

“I certainly don’t feel it is something I can’t do.

“It is dictated by your body and not your age.”

Low-profile Gunter has never been one for fuss and isn’t overly bothered Saturday’s friendly at home to Mexico is behind closed doors at the Cardiff City Stadium.

But it is a big regret his best pal Aaron Ramsey is out injured because the pair go back so far.

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From left to right, Aaron Ramsey, Wayne Hennessey, Gareth Bale and Gunter celebrate reaching Euro 2020

Gunter added: “In November when I came on to get to 99 he was pleased and saying he will be there if and when I get to 100.

“But then he got injured.

“I think he is disappointed and I am to be honest.

“Aaron has been my best mate since we were 12 years old.

“I have been through a lot with him.

“The time we come away together and play is brilliant because we are such close friends.

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“I am gutted he is not going to be there.

“We miss him on the pitch too.

“With the friendship we have, he will be one of the most proud people for myself.

“He will certainly be watching.

“Hopefully in the summer, if not before, we will celebrate.”

Gunter cited his previous highlights as his Wales debut 14 years ago and reaching the Euro 2016 semi-finals.

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But he reckons Wales’ latest squad is arguably the most talented yet he has been involved in.

“We had in that 2016 squad some top players but now potentially more strength in depth,” he assessed.

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