GARETH BALE has been left out of the Wales squad to face Poland in their Nations League opener in Wroclaw.
Dragons captain Bale as well as experienced stars Aaron Ramsey, Joe Allen and Ben Davies were wrapped up in cotton wool by boss Robert Page ahead of Sunday's World Cup play-off final.
Wales will face the winners of Scotland and Ukraine on Wednesday with a spot at Qatar 2022 up for grabs.
Page labelled the Cardiff clash 'the biggest match in Welsh history since 1958'.
Chris Gunter stands in for Bale as Wales skipper while there is a start in goal for Leicester's Danny Ward over Wayne Hennessey.
Kieffer Moore, who also missed the semi-final play-off win over Austria in March, leads the line alongside Dan James of Leeds.
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Poland captain Robert Lewandowski starts just days after he revealed his career at Bayern Munich is over.
The striker wants a summer move to Barcelona.
Bale will become a free agent this summer after his contract with Real Madrid expires.
The once all-time record signing departs Real after NINE years at the club.
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During his time at the Bernabeu, Bale won 19 trophies including five Champions Leagues and three LaLigas.
Bale wrote on Instagram: " I write this message to say thank you to all my team mates, past and present, my managers, the back room staff and to the fans that supported me.
"I arrived here 9 years ago as a young man who wanted to realise my dream of playing for Real Madrid.
"To wear the pristine white kit, to wear the crest on my chest, to play at the Santiago Bernabéu, to win titles and to be part of what it's so famous for, to win the Champions League.
"I can now look back, reflect and say with honesty that this dream became a reality and much, much more.
"To be a part of this club’s history and to achieve what we achieved while I was a Real Madrid player, has been an incredible experience and one I will never forget.
"I also want to thank President Florentino Perez, Jose Angel Sanchez, and the board for giving me the opportunity to play for this club.
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"Together we were able to create some moments that will live forever in the history of this club and football.
"It has been an honour. Thank you! HALA MADRID!"
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