Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale could retire at the end of the season if he does not qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar with the Wales national team. It is a known fact that Bale has been a pale shadow of his old self - the well-known star who, thanks to his brilliant performances in the Premier League earned himself a move to Los Blancos in 2013.

As a result, he has recently fallen out of favor with Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti, and according to English media, such as The Athletic and Sky Sports, it would not be a surprise if the veteran ends his soccer career in case Wales fail to secure a spot at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar this November.

The 32-year-old ace has a contract with the Santiago Bernabeu giants until the season and it looks incredibly likely that he will not extend it. That means that he would have to hang up his boots in July 2022, at the age of 33. However, we bring you three reasons why that scenario could be beyond belief.

Incredibly high salary

Having Gareth Bale on the pitch is proving to be really expensive for Real Madrid since he is one of the highest-paid players in the world at the moment. According to the Spanish publication AS, the Welsh captain earns a total of €17 million per season.

Despite going more than 130 days without featuring for the Whites, he has spent 193 minutes on the field this season. Thus, for every minute played, he has earned more than €90,000 (£74,000). It looks unlikely that Bale would give up on searching for another club to com close to his current earnings.

Welsh clubs in Championship calling

If Wales makes it to the World Cup for the first time in 64 years, the forward could opt to move to a Welsh club in the English second division, the Championship. Sky Sports believe that he may be considering a move to Cardiff or Swansea on a short-term contract if he could prove fit to play.

Final stint where it all started

Instead of retiring, Gareth Bale has the option to continue his career in the Premier League. As per Catalan El Nacional, the experienced goalscorer could make a heartwarming comeback to Southampton. That way, he would go back to where it all started and most likely put an end to his career there.

He has grown to win various accolades thanks to his time at Southampton, where after just one season in the first team, he moved to a Tottenham, establishing himself as one of the best players in the world. It is reported that the player himself is open to returning to Saint Mary's Stadium.