SOCCER | WC QUALIFIERS

Bale has got bug back at Real Madrid, says Wales boss Page

Rob Page claims Gareth Bale has "got the bug back" for football after the Real Madrid star was named in his Wales squad.

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Bale has a hunger and desire to play for Wales, insists Page

Wales caretaker boss Rob Page insists Gareth Bale still has the hunger and desire to play for his country after including the player in his squad for the upcoming international break.

Page's side face Finland in a friendly on September 1, before resuming their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign with a double-header against Belarus and Estonia.

Speculation surrounded Bale's international future following the Dragons' exit from Euro 2020 at the hands of Denmark.

However, the Real Madrid forward, who has 96 caps to his name, could edge closer to becoming Wales' second centurion after being selected by Page.

Bale, who spent last season on loan at Tottenham, has started twice this season under new Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti, scoring in Sunday's 3-3 draw at Levante.

And Page is confident his talisman has "got the bug back" for football.

Page on Bale: "He has hunger to play week in, week out"

"It's great news. You want all your players playing competitive football when they come to the camp," Page told Sky Sports News.

"To get any of your players playing week in, week out is a bonus. But when you've got Gareth playing now and finding he's got the bug back again, which I saw in some of his performances for Tottenham at the back end of last season, is great news for us.

"He's got a hunger to play week in, week out for his club and he's got an absolute hunger and desire to play for Wales.

"As long as I can see that in his performances then there's going to be no issues whatsoever."