Gareth Bale has revealed he is targeting the 2024 Euros after joining Los Angeles FC.
The Wales superstar, 33 this weekend, has signed a 12-month deal with the option of a further 18 months. In doing so he declined approaches from Premier League and European clubs.
But while many feel he had moved to California as a warm-up for the World Cup, he disagreed.
“This gives me the best opportunity to go to the next Euros and maybe further,” he said. “The plan is to work hard.
“I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t ready to give everything. I am still 32. I still have many years to come and I haven’t come here just to be here for 6 months or 12 months.
“I want to be here for as long as possible. I want to do as well as I can to make my mark on this league and this team and I am looking forward to the future.”
The ex-Real Madrid forward, who lifted five Champions Leagues with the Spanish giants, dismissed suggestions he has joined “a retirement league”.
Cheered on inside the Banc Of California Stadium by members of the influential 3252 Supporters Group, affiliated to the club, Bale added: “I don’t think anyone sees it as a retirement league any more.
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“The weather is difficult, the standard is difficult. The standard here is increasing it’s a lot better than people in Europe think. Everything is improving, it’s a league on the rise.
“I haven’t come here for the short term. I want to make my mark. I think be being here gives me the best possible chance to make the euros and maybe one more. that’s my goal. I am here to play a big part.
“This is a league that is really growing over the past 10 years.”