Gareth Bale has questioned his future after twice declining the opportunity to deny reports he may be retiring after the European Championship final this summer.
Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett last week called an article in the Spanish daily ABC that his client could retire as “garbage”. The 31-year-old is under contract with Real Madrid until the end of next season on a contract worth around £ 600,000 a week. But the Wales captain, who just finished a loan at Tottenham, declined to deny he could call him a day after Euro 2020.
“Obviously, a lot has been written about whether I’m doing this and that,” Bale said. “For me, the bottom line is that I don’t want to say anything that is going to cause more chaos or more drama or cause a distraction. I just want to focus on the euros. I don’t want to say anything that might cause problems with what I’m doing or what I’m not doing. When the Euros are up for us, I’ll sit down and decide what I want to do.
When asked to clarify if he was considering retiring, Bale laughed and replied, “Yeah, well. This is one of those. Like I said, I’m going to sit down after the Euro and decide what I want to do. I want to give my all in these Euros and put all I can in like we do in every game. If I say something, it’s just going to cause more chaos, so there’s no point. “
In March, Bale said helping Wales secure a place in the World Cup final was the final piece of the puzzle of a decorated career in which he had won four Champions League titles. Reminded of this, he said: “Now is the time to focus only on the Euro and I don’t want to think about other things that I have said in the past. It is now that I want to focus on the Euro. The whole team is focusing only on the correct preparation and preparation for the first game against Switzerland.
Bale ended an indifferent season with the Premier League’s best goals-per-minute ratio – a 1.07 goal-per-game rate – and the forward has said he is determined to take his recent form in the final. Wales, which will fly to Azerbaijan next Monday, will face world champions France on Wednesday in a friendly before hosting Albania on Saturday.
“It was great to end the season, the last few months, in the form of goals,” Bale said. “All it took was for me to play games. I knew it; I think a lot of people knew that. It was just playtime. Once I had the opportunity to continue playing and improve my fitness in the Premier League, it felt natural that my form would be back and I would start. to mark. No surprise for me.
Luton’s Tom Lockyer was called up on Monday to replace St Pauli defender James Lawrence, who suffered a muscle injury in training.