FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022: Without win over Iran record cap not as meaningful, says Wales captain Gareth Bale

A record 110th cap would matter nothing to Gareth Bale (33) unless Wales wins its World Cup Group B match against Iran on Friday, which may determine whether the side advances to the last 16. Wales’ iconic forward delivered yet again, netting a late penalty to earn a 1-1 draw with the United States in their opener, and will be called on again in what seems to be a must-win game for both sides.

Wales captain Gareth Bale is desperate to win the next games

To be honest, I haven’t really been focused too much on the cap situation,” said Bale, who will pass Chris Gunter (33) as Wales’ most capped men’s player. “I’m simply trying to concentrate on the game. Obviously, on a personal level, it’s an incredible achievement and an honor to have represented my nation so many times, but it’s more essential that we try and get that victory tomorrow, and maybe we do, and that would make it even more remarkable.

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Bale’s goal was his 41st at the international level, and Wales’ first in the World Cup in 64 years, as they earned their first point at the tournament since 1958. With England leading the group after a 6-2 hammering of Iran on Monday and expected to overcome the United States, second place is up for grabs. The heat and pressure will be intense at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on Friday, with the game starting around high noon under a searing midday sun that will put both teams’ fitness to the test.

All eyes will be on Bale, who helped Los Angeles FC win the MLS Cup this season but has yet to play a full match for the Major League Soccer club and has only played 28 minutes of competitive football since September.

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