World Cup: Wales’ Bale says playing Iran ‘no problem’ after USA game | Football


Gareth Bale celebrates scoring his Wales’ penalty goal against USA (Picture: Nicolas Tucat/AFP)

Gareth Bale insists he will be fit and raring to make Wales history against Iran in the World Cup today, despite taking a few days to recover from Monday’s marathon effort against the United States.

Fifa’s time-wasting clampdown saw Bale play 104 minutes of the 1-1 draw – no mean feat for a 33-year-old with a history of injuries who has played sparingly since moving to Los Angeles FC.

Captain Bale is set to overtake Chris Gunter, who is among today’s substitutes, as Wales’ most capped player by winning his 110th cap.

Asked about suggestions Bale could be rested against Iran, Wales boss Robert Page said: ‘Good luck not picking him.’

Bale himself insisted he would be fine for this morning’s kick-off after a few days to recover.

‘I’m feeling okay. Obviously it took a few days before I could feel my legs again,’ said Bale. ‘Playing 104 minutes isn’t ideal when you’ve got a game four days later.

USA v Wales: Group B - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

USA goalkeeper Matt Turner was unable to block a penalty taken by Bale on Monday (Picture: Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

‘Everyone is doing all they can to recover. I’ve not played loads before I came here but I’ve dealt with it before and it won’t be a problem.’

Wales are confident of handling the early afternoon heat in Doha despite expected temperatures of 29C when the game kicks off at 1pm local time.

They have been starting training earlier to acclimatise to the heat and Bale said: ‘We have a plan on nutrition and hydration. As long as we can execute that, it will put us in a better position to deal with the heat and humidity.’

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