Gareth Bale insists Aaron Ramsey’s move to Rangers could help keep Wales’ World Cup dream alive

GARETH BALE believes Aaron Ramsey’s move to Rangers allowed him to keep Wales’ World Cup dream alive.

The Dragons duo seem poised to start the play-off semi-finals against Austria despite no action from their clubs.

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Rangers star Aaron Ramsey with Wales teammate Gareth BaleCredit: Reuters

The winner in Cardiff will play Scotland or Ukraine for a place in the final in Qatar.

Ramsey, 31, scored his first Rangers goal in an 84-minute game against Dundee over the weekend.

And Real Madrid superstar Bale said: “Aaron always keeps himself in good shape no matter what.

“But he is obviously happy that he plays a few more minutes than at Juventus, which is great news for us.

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“He said he likes playing for Rangers because it’s a big club.

“Enjoying football is the most important thing, because if you are happy with what you are doing, you will play better.

“Hopefully he can put on a good performance in this game.”

Bale is also in good form after playing just 77 minutes for Real Madrid after winning his 100th cap for Belarus in November.

He missed Sunday’s fight against Barcelona but denies the defeat because Austria could see him retire from international football.

Bale, who declined to elaborate on why he missed El Clasico, said: “It’s normal to have niggles from time to time, but I was good.

“I had a few minutes three weeks ago, so I am in very good shape, much better than at the last training camp when I was out of action for three months.

“I have been training for the last couple of days and I am ready to play whatever is required.

“I did not think about that. Since we knew we were in this situation, I focused on this match.

“Thinking about your future can create doubt in your own mind, which is why I didn’t consider it.

“What happens in the future will happen in the future. I need to focus on the present and the future is just a distraction.

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“There will be some nerves at the beginning of the match against Austria. It means so much to us to play for Wales in such a big game.

“If you didn’t have nerves, you probably shouldn’t play. It’s about how you manage those nerves and turn them into positivity.

“I have enough experience to know how to do it. This will be one of the biggest games I have ever played.

“I didn’t qualify for the World Cup before and that’s what I want to achieve.

“The fans and the country also want to achieve this.

“I remember watching tournaments as a child, seeing Brazilian Ronaldo and samba playing.”

Wales boss Rob Page will have Bale on his list of top five penalty takers if he reaches Cardiff.

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Bale added: “Of course I’ll be on that list if need be.

“We always try to practice penalties, especially when there is a potential scenario.”

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