Rob Page has chosen Gareth Bale as one of 26 players for Wales’ World Cup squad for Qatar 2022.
The former Tottenham and Real Madrid player’s fitness was questioned, but it’s not surprising that Wales chose him as their talisman.
Bale will be joined on the plane by Tottenham defender Ben Davies and Nice midfielder Aaron Ramsey, both of whom have played key roles in Wales’ recent rise. At Euro 2016 and Euro 2020, the trio was a part of their teams.
Brennan Johnson and Neco Williams of Nottingham Forest as well as Chris Mepham and Kieffer Moore of Bournemouth all make the cut.
Ethan Ampadu of Chelsea, who is on loan at Spezia of Serie A, Daniel James, a winger from Leeds, and Harry Wilson, who is on loan at Fulham, have also been chosen.
Tom Lockyer of Luton, a center-back, is included in Page’s 26, but Rhys Norrington-Davies of Sheffield United is left out.
Chris Gunter, who currently holds the record for most appearances for Wales with 109 caps, is also included in Page’s squad.
On November 21, Wales will face off against the USA in Qatar. On November 25, they face Iran, and on November 29, they compete against England.
What Wale’s coach has to say about the selection
On his selections, Page said: “I don’t think I’ve surprised many Wales supporters, I think they could’ve second guessed what the squad is going to be.
“The difficulty was always with leaving players out, uncomfortable conversations. Rhys Norrington-Davies was taken out of my control with the level of injury that he had, which is a shame for him because he was playing great football.
“Tyler [Roberts] picked up a knock and that decision was made for me. We couldn’t carry too many players going into the tournament.
“I am prepared to take that gamble with Joe Allen. What he’s done, the experience he’s got in that tournament environment and I’m prepared to throw everything at him to get him fit for that first game.
“And then there’s Rabbi Matondo, whose been part of the squad in recent months, he doesn’t make the 26.
“It’s hard because they’re great lads, who I love working with but I have to strip the emotion away from it and pick a squad that I think is going to be effective at the World Cup.”