Euro 2016: Wales know Gareth Bale ‘always there’ when needed

Wales are confident ahead of Euro 2016 that Gareth Bale will be ready and firing when called upon.

Gareth Bale shown during Euro 2016 qualifying last September. Tim Ireland / AP
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Gareth Bale has declared himself ready for Wales' Euro 2016 campaign.

Bale gave Wales a huge fitness scare during Real Madrid's Champions League final victory on Saturday night when he was barely able to run during the 30 minutes of extra time.

The 26-year-old had a severe bout of cramp against Atletico Madrid, but he was forced to stay on the pitch as Real had used their three substitutes.

Bale still managed to step up and score in the penalty shoot-out as the Wales squad watched on anxiously from their pre-Euros training camp in Portugal.

The Football Association of Wales tweeted a picture of the players watching the game, to which Bale later replied on his official Twitter account: “Thanks for the support lads! Looking forward to getting in to camp now.”

Bale and the rest of the squad will gather at Wales’ Vale of Glamorgan base on Tuesday evening after manager Chris Coleman names his 23-man squad for France.


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“He is a player who has always been there right at the time we have needed him,” said skipper Ashley Williams.

“We are going to need him through this tournament definitely, it is on the world stage and everyone will be watching.

“He is a top player and he knows how to handle that.

“His experience will be valuable in and around the dressing room when it comes to it.

“He has the most experience of all of us of big occasions, and normally he doesn’t let us down.”

Coleman has said for some time that he knows the make up of his squad, but Joe Ledley’s injury has complicated matters.

Ledley fractured his left leg playing for Crystal Palace on May 7 and his hopes of playing in France next month seemed over.

But the 62-times capped midfielder joined Wales on their pre-Euros training camp in Portugal last week and was running freely in individual fitness sessions away from the main group.

“I know my 23 now and the big one is Joe,” said Coleman.

“It’s just about time length.

“We are hoping and praying there will be good news.

“It’s all on those first three games for us, we can’t really think beyond that.

“I’ve got a duty to the squad of players to consider how we give ourselves the best possible chance of getting out of that group.”

Ledley is unlikely to be ready for the opening group games against Slovakia and England.

But he will be included if has shown he will be fit for the third game against Russia in Toulouse on June 20.

David Vaughan, Emyr Huws and David Edwards are likely to contest the one remaining midfield spot should Ledley be passed fit.

Paul Dummett and Adam Matthews are likely to contest a full-back spot, with the injured Adam Henley set to miss out.

Liverpool goalkeeper Danny Ward should be fine to take his place in the squad after a knee problem.

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