All Work and No Play

Wales boss bans Gareth Bale from playing golf at the World Cup, is your buzzkill of the week

As you may have heard, Gareth Bale likes golf. He likes golf A LOT. In fact, he likes golf so much, he infamously posed with this flag after qualifying for Euro 2020, much to the annoyance of his then-club Real Madrid.

Those hierarchy of concern will be changing for the Welsh star at the 2022 World Cup, however. According to manager Rob Page, the banner will simply read “WALES” in Qatar this month when the Dragons take their first World Cup bow in 64 years.

“Yeah. There’s no golf. We’re out there to do a job,” said Page when asked about Bale’s golf prospects over the next couple of weeks. “In the past, I may get Gareth, Kieffer Moore or Aaron Ramsey [other players on the Welsh national team] come up to me and say, ‘What’s the plan for tomorrow afternoon? Are there meetings?’ I’d say, ‘No, there’s no meetings, so if you want nine holes then go and play’. But that is when you have a week building up to a double-header. Out there, we won’t have enough time. Every four days there is a game. It’s relentless.”

Due to the in-season scheduling of this year’s World Cup, the already hectic tournament has been condensed from 31 days to 28. That may not seem like much, but as any Bale-level golf sicko will tell you, when it comes to squeezing in a round, every second counts.

That said, when the World Cup is over, Bale—who just wrapped up his first season at LAFC with an MLS Cup—will have plenty time to tee it up, unlike his equally-golf-mad former Tottenahm teammate and Group B foe Harry Kane, who will report straight back to Spurs after captaining England in Qatar. Will each be trying to throw their game against the other in a bid to hit the links sooner? You wouldn’t bet against it …