Welsh veteran Jess Fishlock says if she didn’t play in a major tournament during her career she would “eat me alive forever”.
Fishlock has enjoyed a celebrated career at club level, collecting Champions League medals at Frankfurt and Lyon and winning national titles during his spells in the Netherlands and Australia.
The Seattle-based OL Reign midfielder was also named the 2021 United States National Women’s Soccer League Most Valuable Player.
But Fishlock, 35, has never played for Wales in a major tournament and the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand could be her last chance to do so.
Wales need four points from their last two qualifiers, away to Greece on Friday and home to Slovenia on Tuesday, to secure a place in October’s play-offs.
“I see it less than (something missing) on my resume,” Fishlock said when asked about the possibility of never playing in a major tournament.
“But as a proud Welsh woman, it would definitely be something I wouldn’t get away from for the rest of my life. It would be something that would eat me alive forever.”
Gemma Grainger said last week that she made a deal with Fishlock when she was appointed Wales boss in March 2021.
Grainger signed a four-year deal and wanted the most-capped player in Wales to ‘stay’ for the entirety of that time.
But Fishlock, who will win her 135th cap in Greece, said: “I said to Gemma at the start that I just have to see how my body and mind feel.
“We’ll see what happens with this campaign, whether it’s joy or sadness.
“Committing to a campaign isn’t like CONCACAF or Asia, where it’s basically two weeks of your life. It’s 18 months of your whole life.
“My focus at the moment is on the World Cup campaign and doing well.
“After that I’ll reassess to see how my body is doing and more importantly where my mind is.”
Fishlock has returned to the Wales squad after being rested for June’s friendly against New Zealand in Spain.
She said: “It was a no-brainer, a time to breathe for a few days without travel.
“We have a crazy and intense schedule, everything is under high pressure.
“It was the only chance to refresh and restart.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/wales-champions-league-lyon-netherlands-frankfurt-b2156773.html A missing World Cup would “eat me alive forever,” admits Jess Fishlock