Wales manager Ryan Giggs has explained Gareth Bale's substitution during their 1-0 Nations League win away to Finland on Thursday night.
The Real Madrid attacker was withdrawn at half-time with the match still tied at 0-0, raising eyebrows from various quarters.
Speaking after the match, the former Man United star said the substitution was planned for since Bale has seen little action in recent months at the club level.
"It was planned before - he's had no football at all," said Giggs.
Bale made two appearances for the LaLiga champions after the restart following the coronavirus pandemic, as they marched to their 34th titles.
Giggs added: "It was a real juggling act picking the team and Gareth has had the least amount of football out of everyone.
"It was always the plan, 45 minutes, and if he felt good, an hour. But I thought it was best with potentially Sunday in mind to bring him off after 45 minutes and give Harry [Wilson], who also hasn't had much football, some minutes as well."
Despite his withdrawal, Wales left Helsinki with a narrow victory thanks to a Kieffer Moore late goal.
The win saw them move to the top of Group B4 with three points, following the 1-1 draw between Bulgaria and Republic of Ireland in the other match.