Gareth Bale fit and 'ready to go' for Wales in World Cup opener against USA

Talisman 'right where I want to be' for Monday's game but midfielder Allen ruled out

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Wales talisman Gareth Bale insists he is fit and “ready to go” ahead of their World Cup opener against the USA on Monday.

Bale has played only 30 minutes of football for his club Los Angeles FC since the start of October and there were fears he would be going into the Qatar finals undercooked.

But the 33-year-old is confident all is well going into the game at Al Rayyan Stadium.

“I’m right where I want to be,” Bale said. “I’m ready to go. We’ve all been training hard in the week.

“It’s game-time tomorrow and hopefully we can step up and deliver what needs to be delivered.

“It’s an incredible feeling to be here and an honour to do it for my country.

“We’re just our normal group having our normal jokes, working hard when we need to. The atmosphere is great at the hotel, at training.

“We’re really looking forward to the game and, when we’re in that mood, we normally give our best stuff.”

While Bale declared himself fully fit, manager Robert Page revealed that midfielder Joe Allen has been ruled out of the match.

The Swansea midfielder has not played since September 17 because of a hamstring injury and has been battling to be fit for Wales’ first game at the World Cup for 64 years.

“We said from the start we were going to give every possible chance but he’s not going to make it if I’m being completely honest,” said Page.

Tyler Adams will be captain of the United States in Qatar. AP

“If he breaks down, he’s definitely out for the tournament. We’re not going to push him.

“We’d have liked him to play in the first game. But we’re not going to push him and hope that he will make the second game [against Iran on Friday].”

The USA, meanwhile, have appointed Tyler Adams as their captain at the relatively young age of 23.

Adams was elected captain in a vote by about 35 players held in September and announced on the eve of the national team's tournament opener against Wales.

He will become the first African-American to wear the armband for the USA at a World Cup.

“I want to be a winner. So first off, I’m very competitive,” Adams said after manager Gregg Berhalter's announcement on Sunday.

“I want to hold the guys around me to the same standard. I don’t want to lose and then have to point the finger and say, `You let me down today'.

“I just want to make sure that everyone’s on the same page intensity wise, mentality wise, no frustration – we all buy into the same thing. And, yeah, I think I’ve been doing that since a young age.”

Updated: November 20, 2022, 3:22 PM
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