DEJECTED Gareth Bale vowed to continue playing for Wales after his heartbreaking KO at the World Cup.
The Dragons skipper limped away with a hamstring injury in the sobering 3-0 defeat by England at half-time.
Bale, 33, insists he will NOT retire – as long as coach Rob Page still wants him around.
Wales finished bottom of Group B by just one point in their first World Cup since 1958.
They meet Croatia in March when qualifying for Euro 2024 begins.
And Bale said: “I hope to be there. I will continue as long as I can and as long as I am needed.”
On their horrible tournament, he added: “We didn’t live up to expectations. It was difficult and we didn’t play very well.
“But we’re all very proud of what we’ve achieved to come here, to do something that only another Welsh team has done, to have qualified.”
Wales could barely land a blow in the Battle of Britain but held England back from two rapid-fire goals early in the second half.
A Bale penalty in their 1-1 opener against USA was all the Red Wall celebrated in Qatar before heading home.
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Speaking of his captain, Page said: “Gareth wanted to come out for the second half but if he went back out he would have been like 70 per cent.
“We couldn’t take anyone but I don’t think it will be the last of Gareth in a Welsh shirt.
“We have games in March and want to get started.”
Bale, 33, and Aaron Ramsey, 31, have led this Wales side in recent years but were both far from the pace in Doha.
Asked if it was time to replace his aging stars with younger players, he added: “Of course that will happen when the time is right.
“I won’t comment on that now – we have European Championship qualifiers in March.
“If there are young players that we need to push and develop, now is the right time to do it.
“We didn’t show our true colors, the players know that themselves, but I told them how proud I am just to be part of the World Cup.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6799806/gareth-bale-retirement-wales-world-cup/ Gareth Bale ends retirement talks as the Welsh ace vows to ‘play as long as I want’ despite being KO’d as a substitute at the World Cup