Wales boss Page refusing to focus on Bale retirement talk before Euro 2020

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Wales boss Rob Page says he's refusing to even listen to talk about Gareth Bale walking away from football as they prepare for a summer of football.

The talismanic Wales skipper is surrounded by speculation that he could be set to quit on the game after the upcoming Euros, but has refused to answer questions.

Interim boss Page is preparing his side for a testing friendly with World Champions France on Wednesday and is happy that he's got the Real Madrid star in his camp.

Page will just put in the earplugs and drown out any outside noise concerning the 31-year-old's future.

Asked if he preferred to think of Bale spearheading a Wales campaign to qualify for the World Cup, Page said: "Yes, he's our captain. My priority and focus right now is he's in a good place coming into this camp for the Euros. That's it.

"Watching him play at the back end of last season and scoring goals for Tottenham was great and brilliant. He's come into the camp with confidence. That's all my focus is. I've got Gareth Bale in a good place, scoring goals and in good form. It's great for any manager to have.”

Of Bale's previously stated ambition of playing in the World Cup, Page added: "There you go, let's hang on to that. That's brilliant. That's great news, isn't it?

Page said he's looking forward to pitting his wits against a France side considered by many to be favourites to win the tournament.

He said that key players like Aaron Ramsey now had to be managed carefully in terms of game-time so they could hit the tournament proper running.

Page added: “We've got players that need minutes and we've got players that aren't quite ready, so we've got to manage that as well.

"It's not going to be the starting eleven against France. Some of the players will play a certain amount of minutes in their recovery from being injured or getting up to full fitness

"Our focus is on Switzerland in the first game of the tournament. These two friendlies are going to help us achieve getting our best eleven on that pitch for Switzerland."

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He adds: “It's a great test for us for many reasons. We are going to face similar opposition against Switzerland in how they press and how aggressive they are.

“It's a worthwhile exercise to give us a heads up in what we are going to face in the similarities we are going to face against Switzerland.

“It's a big ask and there'll be times when France will have a lot of the ball and we'll have to defend as a unit. We are going to have to work hard and that's going to be a theme throughout the tournament.

“But we know in transition when we've got the ball we've got players in the team who can hurt opposition and that'll be the plan going into the game.”

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  • Gareth Bale
  • Wales Football Team
  • Euro 2020

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