London (AFP) – Gareth Bale is determined that Wales’s success in getting to the semi-finals of Euro 2016 won’t be a one off as they try to qualify for a first World Cup finals in 60 years.
The Real Madrid star has had a tough time at club level in recent months, with injuries and suspensions limiting him to a mere five appearances since November.
However, it’s almost three-and-a-half years since the former Tottenham Hotspur forward missed a competitive Wales international.
Wales manager Chris Coleman is to name his squad for next week’s Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin on Thursday.
The Republic are currently top of Group D, two points ahead of Serbia and four in front of third-placed Wales.
But Bale is determined to do all he can to help Wales reach their first World Cup finals since 1958.
“Hopefully it (Euro 2016) is a legacy we can keep qualifying for major tournaments,” Bale told the BBC’s Football Focus programme. “We know it’s going to be very difficult, we’ve set the standard high and we need to strive to continue to push it higher.
“We’re still in a good position to qualify,” he added.
“We’re not too far off the leaders and we’ve got to play them next. It’s still all to play for, it’s very exciting times, and hopefully we can produce the same run as we did in the qualifiers in the Euros.”