Gareth Bale has declared himself 100 percent fit for the World Cup in Qatar as Wales prepare for their first appearance at the finals in 64 years.
The 33-year-old has played just half an hour of football since completing his first 90 minutes for more than a year in Wales’ Nations League defeat to Poland in September.
Bale revealed he was not fully fit after coming off the bench to score a crucial late goal in Los Angeles FC’s MLS Cup final triumph over Philadelphia Union on November 5.
But the former Real Madrid forward said he was “100 percent fit and ready to go” ahead of Wales’ departure to Qatar on Tuesday.
Asked if he could play three 90-minute games against the United States, Iran and England in nine days, Bale replied: “Yeah, no problem.
“I’m fully fit and ready to go. If I need to play three 90s, I’ll play three 90s.
“It’s been difficult, mentally more than anything. I guess for everybody, the last three or four weeks, it’s been difficult, even hearing stories of players going down and knowing they’re going to miss the World Cup.
“Speaking to a few of the boys, even for them having to play this weekend was tough mentally, and we’re just praying not to have an injury at all because it’s such a big occasion.”
Rob Page’s men launch their campaign against the USA on November 21 before playing Iran four days later.
They will complete their group fixtures against England on November 29.
“On paper we have the hardest group in the World Cup (the only one with all four sides in the top 20 of the FIFA rankings) and we’re just doing the best planning possible to give us the best chance of winning,” he said.
Originally published at tribune.com.pk