Gareth Bale set to retire from club football - but will keep playing for Wales

Gareth Bale of Wales celebrates after their side's second goal scored by Connor Roberts (Not pictured) during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Group A match between Turkey and Wales at Baku Olimpiya Stadionu on June 16, 2021 in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Gareth Bale is planning to retire from club football next summer but could still play for Wales at the 2022 World Cup.

Wales' captain and record scorer Bale is on holiday after leading his nation into the last 16 at Euro 2020.

He is due to return to Real Madrid later this month where he has a year left on his contract worth a huge £600,000-a-week.

Bale, who turns 32 next week, intends to see out the final 12 months of his deal at Real now Carlo Ancelotti has replaced Zinedine Zidane, who froze him out.

The star, who spent last season on loan at Spurs, has told friends and advisers he is not currently planning to get another club next summer when he will be a free agent.

But with the 2022 World Cup in Qatar next winter, Bale is open to carrying on playing international football for his beloved Wales if they make it.

Wales have three points from their first two games in World Cup qualifying Group E after bouncing back from an opening defeat in Belgium with a home win over the Czech Republic.

They play Belarus and Estonia in September as they aim to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958.

They play Belarus and Estonia in September as they aim to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958.

The 10 group winners qualify automatically, while the 10 runners-up will enter the play-offs.

Plus the two best Nations League group winners, who do not finish in the top two of their World Cup qualifying group, also go into the play-offs.

Wales won their final two Nations League matches last November to win their group, secure promotion and all but guarantee a World Cup qualifying play-off spot.

It seems the carrot will be enough for Bale, who has 33 goals in 96 caps, to potentially keep representing his country even after bowing out of club football.

Bale, a four-time Champions League winner, said recently after Wales' exit from the Euros to Denmark: “I will play for Wales until the day I stop playing football.”

Bale's contract with Madrid ends next July and the 2022 World Cup runs from November 21 – December 18.

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