As he prepares to surpass 100 caps, Gareth Bale says the sorrow of near-misses motivates him to lead Wales to their first World Cup in more than 60 years. Bale said the disappointment of losing to the Republic of Ireland in a game that deprived them a play-off position four years ago would fuel their preparations for a semi-final play-off in March to qualify for Qatar 2022. Wales is guaranteed a place in the play-offs, but they must finish second in Group E in order to receive a home draw.
At the same time, Bale said he would not allow emotion to get in the way of what he described as a “must-win game” if Wales are to give themselves the best chance of reaching a World Cup for the first time since 1958. “The way you learn is by heartbreak in football and by things you haven’t achieved,” he said.
“The World Cup is top of everyone’s list. We have had down moments like against Ireland [in 2017, when they lost their final Group D qualifier 1-0 in Cardiff] and other situations so hopefully we can lean on that experience and that hurt to drive us on further and have that bit more knowhow on how to do things. We’ll definitely be diving back into a bit of experience to try and help us and hopefully the youngsters can give us that little advantage.”
source : guardian sport