Gareth Bale has confirmed that he will not retire following Wales’ qualification for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The 32-year-old had considered whether to hang up his boots this summer after Real Madrid decided against renewing his contract.
The forward, who arrived in La Liga nine years ago for a British record fee worth £85million, enjoyed a fruitful spell at the Santiago Bernabeu, though he struggled to nail down a role in the Spanish side towards the latter stages of his tenure. Bale featured 258 times for Los Blancos, directly contributing to 173 goals.
He was a pivotal piece in the puzzle which saw Real Madrid become the first side to win the Champions League three years in a row. The Welshman spent many of his final years at the Bernabeu either plagued with injury, out of favour or on loan at Spurs, where he controversially admitted that he used a White Hart Lane return to build his fitness.
Regardless of whether he may, or may not, have burned his bridges with Tottenham fans, the north London outfit’s Twitter page dropped a timely post that could hint at Bale’s return. Following the Dragons’ World Cup qualification, Spurs posted a tweet with a picture of Bale and Ben Davies, and Joe Rodon.
Tottenham captioned the post with: “Incredible. A huge congratulations to our Welsh boys on securing qualification for the @FIFAWorldCup.”
The ‘our Welsh boys’ sent fans into a frenzy in the replies and showed the Tottenham social media admin a lot of love. Though some did refrain from jumping the gun over a potential dream Bale return this summer.
However, whether Bale returns or not, Spurs are eager to reinforce this summer. The Telegraph claim that Antonio Conte wants as many as six arrivals this window; a centre-back, a right wing-back, two midfielders, a forward and a backup goalkeeper.
The Spurs boss told Sky Sport Italia in February: “Four players left in January. Four important players for Tottenham, two have arrived. So even numerically instead of strengthening you may have, on paper, weakened.”
In April, though, the Italian boss appeared to dial things back a little, stressing the impact of the two new signings. Conte said: “I said that with these two players, despite that we lost four players in January, with these two new signings we made this squad more complete, with more balance.
“I think that it’s very important in football to have a clear idea and to have a good vision. Because in this way, the situation is more simple.”