Gareth Bale says he ‘won’t be playing as if it’s my last game for Wales’ in Euro 2020 clash with Denmark amid rumours the Real Madrid star will retire this summer as he sets sights on getting through to the quarter-finals
- Gareth Bale will captain Wales in their Euro 2020 last-16 match against Denmark
- There has been speculation 31-year-old may retire after the tournament ends
- But Bale won’t take that attitude because he wants to get through to last eight
- Real Madrid star expects Wales to be underdogs for the match in Amsterdam
- Most neutrals will be backing Denmark after Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest
- Find out the latest Euro 2020 news including fixtures, live action and results here
Gareth Bale says he won’t approach Saturday’s Euro 2020 clash with Denmark as if it’s his last game in a Wales shirt.
There has been speculation the Real Madrid forward may retire after the tournament, something Bale hasn’t categorically denied.
But the 31-year-old, who will captain his country in the last-16 fixture in Amsterdam, said that won’t be his mindset taking to the field.
Gareth Bale says he won’t be treating Wales’s match against Denmark like it’s his last despite rumours he will retire after Euro 2020
Bale, 31, helped steer Wales through the group stages where they finished second to Italy
‘I’m not going to play as if it’s my last because I want to get through to the next round,’ Bale said.
‘The focus is on this game and not looking further. Of course we want to win the game and try and progress to the next round.’
Wales finished second in Group A behind Italy and finished above Switzerland on goal difference but will be regarded as the underdogs against the Danes at the Johan Cruyff Arena.
Most neutrals will be backing Denmark after Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest on the pitch during their first game of the tournament against Finland on June 12.
Bale leads the celebrations after Wales defeated Turkey 2-0 in Baku during the group stages
‘That’s normal anyway,’ said Bale of the underdog status. ‘We’re always the underdog, we’re used to that tag. It doesn’t make any difference to us.
‘We understand the situation that happened with them and we’ve obviously sent all our best wishes to Christian Eriksen.
‘But come game day tomorrow, it’ll be just us and them on the pitch and hopefully we can put a great performance in and get the job done.
‘It is another big game, which is always good. It’s nice to keep testing yourself at the highest level. This is why we want to play football and we’re looking forward to it.’
Bale doesn’t believe Wales, who reached the semi-finals of the last European Championship, won’t be at all fazed by the occasion as they attempt to reach a last eight tie with either Holland or the Czech Republic in Baku.
Most neutrals will be willing Denmark on in Amsterdam following Christian Eriksen’s collapse
‘We know the occasion we’re in, we’re in a big tournament and every game we play is a big game. We just have to play the game tomorrow and not think of the occasion and I’m sure we’ll be ready come kick-off.’
The captain said he’d been impressed by the performances of the Wales players from lower league clubs during the tournament.
‘I think we all knew what they could do as players otherwise they wouldn’t be in the team,’ he said.
Bale trains at the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam ahead of Saturday night’s Denmark game
‘But they have all handled the situation and the occasion very well, I feel all of us have performed really well.
‘First and foremost, everyone puts 100 per cent in no matter what. They have done fantastic but there are still games to go and I’m sure they will keep performing and pushing themselves.’
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