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Gareth Bale still not ‘100%’ fit for Wales after MLS Cup heroics with LAFC

With the World Cup fast approaching, Wales forward Gareth Bale has revealed he still isn’t 100% fit following his heroics for LAFC at MLS Cup.

The Black and Gold beat the Philadelphia Union 3-0 on penalties to lift the trophy for the first time on Saturday, but only after Bale scored a dramatic 128th-minute goal to level the scores at 3-3.

Bale had replaced Carlos Vela in the 97th minute and despite some nice touches, had been largely on the periphery until his goal – perhaps in an attempt to conserve energy after not being able to play in over a month.

“I’m not 100% at the moment. I’m still coming back, I still have a few little issues like most people do,” Bale said after Saturday’s triumph.

He added: “We spoke [before the game] about if I’m needed for the last 20 or 30 minutes then I’m available.

“I haven’t trained too much over the last three or four weeks because I’ve had this slight issue, but I was able to come on and give as much as I can and I’m glad I came up with the goal to help the team.

“It’s been a difficult transition coming in with no pre-season, trying to play catch-up, relocating with my family. But I’ve tried to keep as fit as I can, tried to help the team as much as I can on and off the pitch and it’s all worth it when you have moments like this.”

Of course, the timing of this year’s World Cup doesn’t help, adding extra pressure to get fit onto a player already carries the hopes of his entire nation.

Bale admitted he’s feeling the heat, but is motivated to make sure he’s ready in time to lead Wales to Qatar.

“I’m feeling better and better as time goes on,” he added.

“Obviously I’ve had a few setbacks, I had a slight knock a couple of weeks back which kept me out for 10 days, so it’s just one of those.

“It’s been difficult mentally leading into the World Cup. There’s so many players dropping out and now they’re missing the World Cup, so it’s been difficult mentally and I’m sure it has for a lot of players playing leading going into this World Cup.

“For sure it’s been in the back of my mind trying to make sure I’m 100% fit.”

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