Wales welcome Poland to Cardiff on Tuesday with a place at Euro 2024 at stake.

The play-off final winners will qualify for the European Championship this summer, joining Austria, France and the Netherlands in Group D.

Here, the PA news agency looks at some of the main talking points surrounding the Cardiff City Stadium clash.

Golden era

Qualifying for a third successive European Championship, and a fourth major tournament out of five, would extend Wales’ golden era.

While that record would be expected by many countries, it would represent a huge achievement for a nation with a population of just over three million and one that did not reach a major tournament between 1958 and 2016.

It would also be achieved without their retired former captain Gareth Bale, who did so much in previous qualifying campaigns to get them over the line.

On the same Page

Wales boss Rob Page sprang a surprise in his semi-final line-up against Finland, opting to keep Kieffer Moore on the bench and choosing a three-man strikeforce of Brennan Johnson, David Brooks and Harry Wilson.

It was a bold call with targetman Moore in such good form at Ipswich. But Brooks and Johnson scored in an emphatic 4-1 win and Wilson was a constant threat with the Wales attack all on the same page.

Daniel James also scored and impressed coming off the bench, and Page now has another tough selection call to make.

Ramsey role reduced

Skipper Aaron Ramsey dominated much of the pre-Finland talk as the Cardiff midfielder was the subject of a club versus country row.

The truth, however, was that the 33-year-old was never going to start after an injury-hit season and, in the event, Ramsey did not get on the pitch at all.

Ramsey will be on the bench against Poland again and, although he remains a considerable influence in the dressing room, Page is only likely to use him in case of an emergency.

Red-hot Robert

With Bale enjoying retirement on the golf course, Poland can lay claim to having the play-off final’s one superstar – Robert Lewandowski.

The Barcelona striker may be 35 now, but he is still finding the net with incredible regularity.

Lewandowski has seven goals in his last nine Barcelona appearances and 23 for club and country this season.

With 82 Poland goals, only Romelu Lukaku (83), Ferenc Puskas (84) and Cristiano Ronaldo (128) have scored more in men’s international football in Europe. Stopping Lewandowski will be vital for Wales.

Rewriting history

Wales must rewrite history to reach Euro 2024 because their record against Poland is abysmal. Played 10, lost seven, drawn two and only one win.

That 2-0 victory came in their maiden clash in March 1973 when Leighton James and Trevor Hockey scored in a World Cup qualifier.

It has been downhill for Wales ever since with Poland winning the last six, including a Nations League double header in 2022.

Poland produced a late sucker punch to win 2-1 in Wroclaw and Karol Swiderski settled a tight Cardiff contest three months later.

Wales boss Robert Page wants clarity from Nottingham Forest over Neco Williams’ injury ahead of next month’s Euro 2024 qualifiers.

Full-back Williams was ruled out for the rest of the Premier League season after breaking his jaw against Brighton on April 26.

But Forest have not put a time frame on the 22-year-old’s recovery and Page wants to know the extent of the injury before naming his squad on Tuesday for games against Armenia and Turkey.

“I think there’s conversations to be had with ourselves and the club, both medical teams,” Page told BBC Wales.

“The squad is going to be announced next week.

“We will have conversations in the meantime and see where we are at with that before we make that decision.”

Page was critical of Forest in March when Williams’ team-mate Brennan Johnson withdrew from the squad to take on Croatia and Latvia, suggesting the striker had not been given enough help to be fit for international duty.

As reported by the PA news agency in March, Bournemouth forward David Brooks will be part of the summer camp after returning to action following cancer treatment.

Brooks made his first start since September 2021 against Manchester United on Saturday after four substitute appearances for the Cherries this season.

The 25-year-old was diagnosed with stage two Hodgkin lymphoma in October 2021 and announced he was cancer free in May 2022.

“I am pleased for him because he’s had a long journey,” said Page.

“I got a bit excited in March. I tried to get him on camp then because you want your best players around you. He definitely falls into that category.

“We knew we had to manage it. You don’t go through what he’s gone through and not have little setbacks.

“Bournemouth have been incredible with the way they have handled it and got him back up to speed. It’s great that we have got him available.”

Wales made a positive start to Euro 2024 qualifying with four points from two games, drawing away to World Cup semi-finalists Croatia before beating Latvia at home.

Aaron Ramsey has been appointed Wales captain after Gareth Bale announced his retirement from football in the aftermath of last year's World Cup campaign.

Former Real Madrid forward Bale retired from professional football at the age of 33 in January, having led Wales into their first World Cup campaign since 1958 in Qatar last year.

Having won a record-breaking 111 caps for his country, Bale will be succeeded by the man joint-seventh in their all-time appearance list – former Arsenal and Juventus midfielder Ramsey.

Ramsey moved to France in search of regular minutes following a frustrating loan spell at Rangers last term, and has made 21 league appearances since joining Nice on a free transfer last August.

The 32-year-old already has experience of captaining Wales after being named skipper by Gary Speed in 2011, though Chris Coleman opted to hand the armband to Ashley Williams one year later.

The announcement came as boss Rob Page named a 24-man squad for Wales' opening Euro 2024 qualifiers against Croatia and Latvia later this month, with the team looking to qualify for a third-consecutive edition of the tournament.

Page named four uncapped players in his squad for those fixtures, namely midfielders Jordan James and Ollie Cooper, Fulham youngster Luke Harris and striker Nathan Broadhead.

Gareth Bale's decision to retire from professional football comes at the "right time", according to Wales manager Rob Page.

Bale announced on Monday he had decided to call time on a glorious career, having finally been able to represent his country at the World Cup.

Once the most expensive player of all time when he made the move to Real Madrid from Tottenham, Bale won everything possible during his time at the Santiago Bernabeu, including five Champions League titles – only Paco Gento (six) has more (Champions League/European Cup).

While some might have been surprised by Bale's decision given he is still only 33, his decline over the past few years – partly due to injuries – has been significant, as evidenced by his MLS struggles with Los Angeles FC and a lack of impact for Wales at Qatar 2022.

Page was not among those caught off guard by the news.

"Gareth messaged to say he needed a conversation," Page told BBC Radio Wales.

"I knew it was something significant, but when he announced it to me, it didn't come as a complete surprise.

"I told him I think it's the right time to bow out. You've just scored in a World Cup and got everything on your CV, what you've done for this country is unbelievable."

Wales' next fixtures are at the end of March when they face Croatia and Latvia to begin their Euro 2024 qualification campaign.

Page had planned to include Bale in his squad, though he recognised the World Cup did highlight certain inadequacies.

"He would have had a part to play," Page continued. "The roles might have changed slightly. Would he be able to play 90 minutes back to back?

"Lessons have been learned from Qatar, the athleticism every team had out there. It's too big an ask probably for him, he might have been an impact player coming off the bench.

"There's a mixture of emotions for me. I'm excited now because it's an opportunity to get some of the young ones through – players like Brennan Johnson to take the opportunity and step up to the plate – and get the next Gareth Bale.

"But there's also a hint of sadness because it's the last time we'll see Gareth Bale putting a pair of boots on for Wales."

But that is not to say Bale will be gone for good.

It remains to be seen what he goes on to do now he is not playing, but Page is eager to get Bale involved in the Wales setup again.

"I would love him still to be involved in some capacity, what that role is don't know yet," he said.

"It's a big adjustment for him, going into a normalish life, but we'll have another conversation with him in a few weeks.

"We'll make a plan moving forward because he's got so much to offer in a changing room and hotel environment.

"His presence is something I would be really keen on, to keep him involved, but I'll leave it up to Gareth and what suits him and his family.

"You've seen Belgium do it with Thierry Henry. Ex-players stepping up, whether it's a coaching role, an ambassadorial role, or being part of a committee making decisions.

"I'm sure the FAW [Football Association of Wales] would also be keen to keep Gareth involved in some capacity."

Rob Page and Gareth Bale insisted Wales should not be disappointed with World Cup elimination as the pair hailed the Dragons' efforts despite a comfortable defeat to England.

Wales kept England at bay for large parts of the first half at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium on Tuesday but came unstuck after the interval as Marcus Rashford scored a brace and Phil Foden tapped home.

A 3-0 defeat ensured Wales end a major tournament without a win for the first time in their history, while England have defeated their rivals in seven straight games, scoring 14 and conceding just one in that run.

United States progressed as runners-up to England in Group B at the expense of Iran, though Page was not disheartened by Wales finishing bottom of the pool in Qatar.

"The effort we put in I thought was outstanding, we addressed at half-time we could have been better with the ball," the Wales manager told the BBC.

"I won't have a bad word said about those players, they have given everything. The first goal is a wonderful strike, the second I am a little disappointed with but I don't want to talk about negatives.

"We are disappointed to leave the tournament but that is the way to go out, the first-half performance was excellent."

Bale was forced off at half-time after managing just four passes and seven touches – both the fewest of any starter in Al Rayyan – as what could prove to be his final World Cup came to a frustrating end.

Page confirmed after the game that a hamstring issue Bale sustained in the first half was the problem as the former insisted Wales will now "build for the future".

"Bale felt his hamstring just five minutes before the interval so he had to come off," Page added. "Joe Allen, that was his first 90 mins for ages, Ben Davies had to come off with an injury as well.

"Ethan [Ampadu] had to go to right-back, so I couldn't be more proud of the effort honestly – just to get here was a massive achievement. 

"My message is don't be disappointed, we have to build for the future and to get to the World Cup is an unbelievable achievement for that group of players."

Bale, who scored his nation's only goal in the Middle East with a penalty in the opening 1-1 draw with the USA, echoed Page's sentiment as he reflected on a first World Cup appearance for Wales in 64 years.

"We have to look at what we have achieved to get here and how far we have come, of course, we're frustrated to go out but football is not easy," Bale told the BBC.

"We didn't quite live up to our expectations this tournament but we will take massive experience from it. Going forward, we need to look at how far we have come.

"To be at a World Cup, two years ago if you had asked us that we would have pinched ourselves. It is disappointing to go out but we will walk out of the changing room with our heads held high.

"It just didn't happen for us at this tournament, the past two tournaments we've had success but it doesn't always happen – we can never have any regrets, though, we gave everything."

On his future, Bale added: "I'll keep going as long as I can and as long as I want to. It is a difficult moment but we go again, we have a qualification campaign starting in March."

Gareth Bale does not believe he has any added responsibility on his shoulders ahead of Wales' showdown with England, who Rob Page has described as a "beatable" opponent.

Wales face an early exit from their first World Cup since 1958 as they require victory against England and for the United States and Iran to draw in Tuesday's other Group B match.

The Dragons, who followed up a 1-1 draw against the USA with a 2-0 loss to Iran, will also advance to the knockout stage with an improbable 4-0 victory over their fierce rivals.

Bale played a major role in Wales ending their long wait to play on the world stage, as he did in their successful campaigns in qualifying for Euro 2016 and Euro 2020.

Ahead of what could be his final appearance for Wales at a tournament, though, the Los Angeles FC forward is hoping to respond to the Iran loss with a result against England.

"We're disappointed in the results and performance so far but that's football," he said at Monday's pre-match news conference. "This is a World Cup and it's not easy. 

"We'll always give 100 per cent and we want to try to make things better. The last few days we've been working hard and hopefully things turn around for us now.

"We were hurting after the Iran game and the next day. Everyone was really quiet but we have characters in the squad and the energy is high again.

"We're in good spirits for this next match. This is tournament football and we have to go again."


Bale scored his side's only goal of Qatar 2022 so far, a late penalty against the USA, but he has had the fewest touches of the ball of any Wales player in both matches.

The 33-year-old has managed only two shots, one of those being his spot-kick effort, but he insists his nation's hopes against England do not rest solely on him.

"I don't feel an added responsibility. We're a team and nation who work hard for each other and we must deliver as a team, not one person," he said. 

"We've been working hard these last couple days. We would have loved to have been winning but the reality is football is hard, but we've been keeping our spirits high."

Wales have never previously failed to win a single match at any of their major tournament participations, but they have a poor record against neighbours England down the years.

Indeed, Wales have lost each of their past six games against England, conceding 11 goals and scoring just once – a Bale free-kick in a 2-1 defeat in the Euro 2016 group stage.

However, in a game Wales simply must win if they are to have any hope of prolonging their stay in Qatar, manager Page is optimistic his side can end that terrible run.

"This tournament has shown anyone's beatable – of course England are beatable," Page said. "They’ve got a wonderful pool of players, but we must show what we're capable of."

Echoing the views of his manager, Bale said: "Absolutely. We've done our homework and had meetings, which I'm sure they've also done. It's going to be a difficult game.

"We know England are one of the favourites and we're under no illusions. There's been a few shocks already and there's no reason we can't do the same."

Wales enter Tuesday's game winless in seven matches, which is their worst run without victory since between May 2003 and November 2003.

Carlos Queiroz attributed Iran's vital World Cup win over Wales on Friday to his players going back to their "roots". 

Rouzbeh Cheshmi and Ramin Rezaeian both scored in stoppage time to seal a 2-0 victory for Iran after Wayne Hennessey had been sent off late on for Wales.

Iran were thumped 6-2 by England in their opening game in Qatar, but a deserved three points against the Dragons has injected fresh life into their bid to reach the last 16.

Queiroz was thrilled by his side's display, describing the win as a "gift" to Iran's fans.

"We played with amazing character," he said. "We always play with a sense of unity and cohesion. Today, we went back to our roots. We were able to put everything in our minds.

"The second point was to get rid of this bad feeling of bleeding. I told the players very clearly, football, it is a game of different moments. It is not because you win or you do not win. Sometimes you lose your dignity, you lose your honour.

"First game, we were bleeding in our pride. This was an opportunity to rebound, close, to stop bleeding and get back to credibility, to show the football we have inside our souls, inside our minds.

"What was important today was to keep our hopes open. Today, we scored and we have three points.

"Now we need to be sure we are good enough to go to the second round. This game was a gift to Iranian fans. North, south, east and west, it is a gift to all of them."

Wales' hopes of reaching the round of 16 are hanging by a thread following the defeat, with the Dragons needing to beat England on Tuesday to stand any chance of escaping Group B.

Boss Rob Page knows his side will have their work cut out against the Three Lions, but he insists his players will do everything to give Welsh supporters something to cheer. 

"We want to finish the competition on a high," he said. "It's out of our hands in regards to going through, but we want to finish with a good performance and a win.

"We're low at the minute, but we'll get them back up tomorrow and prepare for another tough game to finish with.

"We've got to get on with it. We can't sit and cry about it. We've got an opportunity to go and put it right. Thankfully, the game is just around the corner so we can go back out.

"We want to give our supporters something to cheer about. They've shown massive commitment to come over, and that really disappoints me as well, that we've given that performance for them today.

"We'll bounce back, we'll pick them up and we'll go again."

Gareth Bale insisted any political statement from Wales would take place "outside of the game" as manager Rob Page suggested Germany lost focus during the OneLove armband saga.

Wales and Germany were two of the teams set to support the OneLove campaign, which promotes "inclusion and sends a message against discrimination of any kind".

But FIFA threatened sporting sanctions – expected to be yellow cards – if their captains wore armbands carrying the logo, prompting those involved to back down.

Germany responded with a unique protest, covering their mouths for a pre-match team photo against Japan in reference to FIFA "denying us a voice".

However, Germany then lost to Japan in a result that puts them at risk of elimination already.

Die Mannschaft coach Hansi Flick insisted after Wednesday's match the demonstration could not be used as an excuse, but Bale hinted at it in his news conference the following day, while Page openly cited Germany's example.

"We weren't too happy about not being able to wear it with the sanctions that would have been put in place," Bale said.

"I know people said I should have worn it, but I would have been sent off after about 25 minutes. Of course we support it, but we're here to play football at the same time.

"Just by not wearing the armband doesn't mean we don't support it. We're all for equality, and we're always trying to do the right thing, trying to create that awareness.

"In terms of doing something else, I guess when teams try to do something else and the result doesn't go the right way, they get criticised for not concentrating on the football.

"For us, now the tournament's started, we really need to concentrate on the football for ourselves. But outside of the game, if there's anything we can do to raise awareness or support, we'll definitely do that."

Page said: "We've got campaigns going on that we're fully supportive of as an association and as a Welsh government.

"I want my players to focus fully on playing games of football and winning games. I'm sure Germany now, in hindsight, would probably have the same message."

Page, who confirmed Joe Allen was fit for Friday's meeting with Iran, was full of praise for Bale as he prepares to break Wales' caps record.

"I think it's gone to another level overnight again with what he's done," the Wales boss said of his captain, who netted their equaliser against the United States.

"He admits himself it probably wasn't one of his better games over the 90 minutes, but when you need him, he delivers for you.

"If you wanted anybody in a pressurised situation to get a late equaliser, it would be Gareth Bale taking that penalty.

"He's done it time and time again for us. When we needed the win against Austria, he delivers goals, against Ukraine, he's the one to step up to take the free-kick to get us to the finals.

"He deserves all the credit he's getting at the moment."

Bale added: "I've not really focused too much on the cap thing, to be honest.

"Thinking about it now, it's an amazing achievement, an honour to represent my country so many times.

"But it's more important we try to get the victory tomorrow. Hopefully we can and make it even more special."

Wales manager Rob Page was relieved to gain an "important point" in their World Cup opener against the United States, and praised Gareth Bale's intelligence in winning a second-half penalty.

The United States took a deserved first-half lead through Timothy Weah, though an improved Welsh side came back in the second and equalised via Bale's 82nd-minute spot kick.

The 1-1 draw leaves both two points behind England after the first games in Group B in Qatar after the Three Lions beat Iran 6-2 earlier on Monday, but Page was happy enough with a point and suggested his team were the ones who could have won it late on.

"It was a really important point for us," he told reporters at his post-match press conference. "I thought for the last 10 minutes if anybody was going to go on to get the winner it was going to be us as well."

Bale's penalty made him just the fourth player to score a World Cup goal for Wales after John Charles, Ivor Allchurch (two) and Terry Medwin, all in their 1958 campaign.

The Los Angeles FC forward had an otherwise quiet game, but once again stepped up when his country needed him, winning the penalty when he got across USA defender Walker Zimmerman and drew the foul.

"We've sort of evolved Gareth's position, put it that way," Page explained about his star player. "He can still play out wide, of course he can, but I like to give him the freedom to come inside and play off a frontman.

"He's very good at finding those spaces, he's intelligent, he's got a wise head, so he puts himself in those positions in the box to be able to get us penalties, and defenders commit to making tackles, and if they don't get their timing right in the box, inevitably it's a penalty." 

Welsh full-back Neco Williams played 79 minutes at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium and was visibly emotional at full-time, later revealing he had only found out last night that his grandad had passed away.

Williams posted on Twitter after the game: "Yesterday was the toughest news I've ever had to face and that was listening to my mum tell me my grandad past away last night.

"To go from crying all day to start in a World Cup game was extremely tough but I got through it from the support of my team-mates and family."

Wales face Iran in their second Group B game on Friday.

Gareth Bale's lack of playing time is of no concern for Rob Page, who has backed the Los Angeles FC forward to leave his mark for Wales at the World Cup.

Former Real Madrid star Bale was named as part of Page's 26-man squad on Wednesday that will travel to Qatar for just Wales' second ever participation in the tournament.

The 33-year-old has managed only two starts for LAFC since joining from Madrid in July and has accumulated just 370 minutes on the field.

Bale has made his impact felt, though, having scored an extra-time equaliser from the substitutes' bench in Saturday's 3-3 draw with Philadelphia Union in the MLS Cup final.

Speaking after that match, which LAFC won on penalties for their first title, Bale said he is "not 100-per-cent fit" heading into Qatar 2022.

But having played an integral role in Wales' qualifying campaign, with winning strikes in the play-off wins over Austria and Ukraine, Page is confident he will play a big part again.

"Ideally would we want him to play more minutes? Of course. Am I worried? No," Page told reporters. 

"He's shown time and time again that irrespective of how many minutes he's played at club level he always comes in and has important moments in the game.

"Big players step up for big occasions. We've said it with Aaron [Ramsey] in the past – Hungary at home when he got two goals for us – and it's no different with Gareth.

"Opposing managers will look at the team sheet and if they see his name they know at any moment he can win a game for you."

Bale captains a squad that has no surprising inclusions or omissions, with Ramsey and Joe Allen also included, despite the latter being considered a major fitness doubt.

Rhys Norrington-Davies misses out with a hamstring issues, meaning a recall for Tom Lockyer, while forward Tyler Roberts also misses the cut due to a calf issue.

Wales face the United States in their opening Group B match on November 21, before taking on Iran and England.

Wales squad: Adam Davies (Sheffield United), Wayne Hennessey (Nottingham Forest), Danny Ward (Leicester City); Ethan Ampadu (Spezia, on loan from Chelsea), Ben Cabango (Swansea City), Ben Davies (Tottenham Hotspur), Chris Gunter (Wimbledon), Tom Lockyer (Luton Town), Chris Mepham (Bournemouth), Connor Roberts (Burnley), Joe Rodon (Rennes, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur), Neco Williams (Nottingham Forest); Joe Allen (Swansea City), Rubin Colwill (Cardiff City), Dylan Levitt (Dundee United), Joe Morrell (Portsmouth), Aaron Ramsey (Nice), Matthew Smith (Milton Keynes Dons), Sorba Thomas (Huddersfield Town), Jonny Williams (Swindon Town), Harry Wilson (Fulham); Gareth Bale (Los Angeles FC), Mark Harris (Cardiff City), Dan James (Fulham, on loan from Leeds United), Brennan Johnson (Nottingham Forest), Kieffer Moore (Bournemouth).

"Wales, golf, Madrid, in that order," read the flag – and that order of priority means Gareth Bale will miss out on his favourite pastime while at the Qatar World Cup.

Bale is a keen golf fan – his love of the sport celebrated by fans of Wales and irritating supporters at former club Real Madrid – but Wales come first.

That is the explanation Rob Page had for his captain after revealing there will be no time for golf during the finals.

Wales boss Page had sought to arrange a round for his team in Doha, but the limited daylight put paid to those plans.

"Yeah, there's no golf," Page said of his conversation with Bale. "We're out there to do a job.

"In the past, I may get Gareth, Kieffer Moore or Aaron Ramsey come up to me and say, 'What's the plan for tomorrow afternoon? Are there meetings?'

"I'd say, 'No, there are no meetings, so if you want nine holes then go and play'. But that is when you have a week building up to a double-header.

"Out there, we won't have enough time. Every four days, there is a game. It's relentless."

Wales open their World Cup campaign against the United States on November 21, before then facing Iran and England in their other Group B matches.

The Football Association of Wales (FAW) have announced that national team manager Rob Page has signed a new four-year contract.

Page took over as Wales boss on a caretaker basis in November 2020 following Ryan Giggs' arrest on assault charges and led the side to World Cup qualification for the first time in 64 years.

The 48-year-old also helped Wales reach the last 16 at Euro 2020 and secure Nations League A qualification for the first time.

Giggs resigned in June, with Page taking over permanently, and the FAW have moved to secure him to a long-term deal with a view to their qualifying campaigns for Euro 2024 and the 2026 World Cup.

"There is no bigger honour than coaching your national team and I can’t wait for the challenge the next four years will bring, starting with our first FIFA World Cup in 64 years," Page said.

"This is an exciting time for Welsh football and I hope we can make the country proud in November and continue our success by qualifying for more major tournaments in the future."

Wales are grouped with England, United States and Iran at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Ryan Giggs has resigned as manager of the Wales national team.

Giggs stepped back from his role as Wales boss, which he assumed in 2018, in November 2020 after being arrested of suspicion of assault. He was charged with assaulting two women by Greater Manchester Police in April 2021.

The former Manchester United winger was replaced by Robert Page for Wales' campaign at the delayed Euro 2020 tournament, with the caretaker boss since leading the team to qualification for the World Cup later this year.

Giggs was originally due to face trial on January 24 this year after being charged with causing actual bodily harm to a woman in her 30s and common assault of a woman in her 20s, but his case was adjourned until August 8 due to a lack of court space.

The 48-year-old has denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty to the charges, as well as to one count of controlling and coercive behaviour.

He announced on Monday he was stepping down to allow the team to prepare for the World Cup without any distractions.

"After much consideration, I am standing down from my position as manager of the Wales men's national team with immediate effect," read a statement issued by Giggs.

"It has been an honour and a privilege to manage my country, but it is only right that the FAW, the coaching staff and the players prepare for the tournament with certainty, clarification and without speculation around the position of their head coach."

In the statement, widely reported by UK media, Giggs said: "I do not want the country's preparations for the World Cup to be affected, destabilised or jeopardised in any way by the continued interest around this case. I have been fortunate enough to have enjoyed some unforgettable moments during my three years in charge of the national team.

"I am sad that we cannot continue this journey together because I believe that this extraordinary group will make the country proud at our first World Cup since 1958.

"It is my intention to resume my managerial career at a later date and I look forward to watching our national team alongside you in the stands."

In a separate statement, the Football Association of Wales said: "The FAW places on record its gratitude to Ryan Giggs for his tenure as manager of the Cymru men's national team and appreciates the decision he has taken, which is in the best interests of Welsh football.

"The full focus of the FAW and the Cymru men's national team is on the FIFA World Cup in Qatar later this year."

Wales forward Gareth Bale will not rush into a decision on his club future, but has categorically ruled out a move to LaLiga side Getafe.

Bale will become a free agent at the end of the month when his contract with Real Madrid, where he has spent the past nine years, officially expires.

The 32-year-old has been linked with an array of clubs across Europe and in the United States, one of those being Madrid-based Getafe.

Speaking earlier this week, Getafe president Angel Torres claimed the Spanish side had been contacted by Bale's representatives regarding a possible transfer.

However, Bale denied that was the case when speaking at a news conference that was again dominated by questions regarding his next career move.

Asked if he was close to making a decision, the former Tottenham man laughed and said: "No. But I'm not going to Getafe, that's for sure.

"I just want to be playing going into the World Cup to be as fit as I can. The manager saying ideally he wants everybody to be playing, and everybody wants to be playing.

"Hopefully I can enjoy my holiday and then decide where I want to be and what I want to do to try and play games to be as fit as I can for the World Cup."

Bale won 16 trophies during his time with Madrid, but he barely played in the 2021-22 campaign, which ended with Los Blancos winning a LaLiga and Champions League double.


He featured in seven of Madrid's 56 matches in all competitions – 13 per cent – with just four of those being starts.

"Once I get back into playing regular football, my body will get more robust and a bit better," Bale said on Friday.

"It's very difficult when you're in and out of a team to get a rhythm in terms of your fitness and health. 

"Any player will tell you, playing week-in week-out, your body becomes more robust, you get used to it and you get fitter. I just need to play games and I'll be good to go.

"I guess whoever I go to it'll be a win-win because hopefully I'll be playing well and getting myself ready. 

"Once these internationals are over, I'll have plenty of time to go on holiday and decide my future then."

Bale inspired Wales to their first World Cup since 1958 with victory over Ukraine in last Sunday's play-off qualifying final, ending any talk of an early retirement.

That 64-year gap is the biggest between qualifications for a World Cup tournament of any nation in history, though there is uncertainty over who will be in charge of Wales in Qatar.

Rob Page has been in caretaker charge since Ryan Giggs stepped aside following his arrest on assault charges in November 2020, allegations which he denies.

Giggs' trial is due to be held in August, but Bale believes Page deserves to remain in the post.

"I think he is the long-term manager," Bale said. "I don't think there is any question in the changing room or from the fans.

"He's done an incredible job coming in in difficult circumstances. Everyone with him has a great relationship.

"We have that good mixture where we can have a bit of fun but, when we need to work, we work hard. We do it correctly. There's a great balance. He's been great for us."

Rob Page believes Wales can go "toe-to-toe with anybody" at the World Cup later this year after they secured qualification on Sunday.

Andriy Yarmolenko's own goal ensured a 1-0 win for Wales in Cardiff as Page's men booked their spot at Qatar 2022 via the European playoff.

It meant Wales qualified for the World Cup for the first time since 1958 and will face England, the United States and Iran in Group B.

Page believes his side can head into the tournament with belief they can do more than just make up the numbers, having advanced from the group stage in both of the last two European Championships.

"We go with the confidence we have had going into any game," Page said, speaking to Radio Wales Breakfast.

"We have played against the USA. We know they are a really strong outfit.

"We played against their European-based players in my first game [0-0 in November 2020].

"[USA and Iran] are winnable games, and when you play against a home nations team, anything can happen.

"We will go toe to toe with anybody, bring it on. That's the attitude we have got in that changing room."


On the victory against Ukraine, Page added: "It's one of those surreal moments where you wake up and realise we are off to the World Cup. It is unbelievable.

"Even at the final whistle last night, I was thinking 'is this a cruel dream that I am having?' But then when you realise it's reality, coming back to the hotel and celebrating with the players last night, then waking up this morning and having that realisation again that we have done it.

"It's such a proud moment for the nation."

Wales have lost just once in their last 11 matches, a 2-1 defeat to Poland in the Nations League, and are currently ranked 18th in the FIFA world rankings, three places above Iran (21st), three places below the USA (15th) and 13 places below England (5th).

"It's a special moment for me personally and for my family," Page added.

"My mum and dad still live in the Rhondda. We are all going to enjoy it - we are supporters ourselves."

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