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Wales skipper Bale confident of World Cup fitness

Athena Pictures / Getty Images Sport / Getty

London, Sept 21, 2022 (AFP) - Wales captain Gareth Bale insists he will be fully fit in time for the World Cup despite his lack of action with Los Angeles FC.

Bale has made just two starts among his 11 appearances for the MLS team and has yet to play 90 minutes since joining in July.

But the 33-year-old is adamant his fitness programme is tailored to reach its peak for the end of the MLS season and the World Cup in Qatar in November.

Speaking after linking up with Wales for their Nations League games against Belgium and Poland, Bale said: "We have a plan in LA with what we're doing. We're not doing too much straight away.

"Every footballer wants to play as much as they can, but we're being clever and building myself up for the last important part of the season.

"Hopefully that should put me in great shape for the World Cup. I think I'll be a lot fitter.

"Of course I want to play 90 minutes as much as I can, but I understand I need to build up to that because I haven't done it an awful lot in the last few years.

"The plan is just to be 100 per cent to help LAFC first and foremost. Ultimately, that will lead into me being 100 per cent fit for the World Cup."

Bale turned down offers to stay in Europe, including one from his hometown club Cardiff, as he moved to the United States following nine turbulent years with Real Madrid.

Wales manager Robert Page will assess Bale's condition before deciding whether to start him against Belgium, the world's number two-ranked team, in Brussels on Thursday.

"His preparation started as soon as the final whistle went in his Los Angeles game. He goes to the nth degree," Page said.

"I'm not surprised by his professionalism, but I was surprised with how fresh he looked."

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