Belfast Telegraph

Bale: why I've always believed Wales fairytale can come true

Welsh pride: Gareth Bale
Welsh pride: Gareth Bale

By Ian Herbert

Wales talisman Gareth Bale has insisted that his nation is capable of repeating the 'fairytale' of Denmark and Greece's wins in 2004 and 1992 by winning the European Championships.

Bale disclosed ahead of tomorrow's semi-final against Portugal in Lyon that he had booked his holiday for Monday - the day after the tournament final - in the full belief that the side "could do something."

Wales, who will play in their grey change strip, could improve on their hugely acclaimed 3-1 victory over Belgium in the quarter finals, he also said.

"I fully believed that we that we could do something. That is why I booked my holiday for the 11th," Bale said. "I fully believed that we could do something and you see the fairytale of Greece and Denmark and stuff and you think why can't we do it?"

Bale trained alone yesterday, prompting initial concerns that he may be carrying an injury into tomorrow night's game. But Bale insisted he was only attempting to give himself extra recovery time. The 26-year-old also insisted that the side could improve on their performance against Belgium.

Bale said: “We certainly hope so. We have been having meetings to talk about the areas we can improve on.

“We know we played a good game against an incredible team in Belgium, but we still want to keep progressing, we still want to keep improving.

“If we can improve those little one per centers all the way through the team and the performance it will only help our game.”

Bale steadfastly refused to allow the discussion of the game revolve around the personal contest between himself and Cristiano Ronaldo.

“It’s not about two players. Everybody knows that really. It is about two nation in a semi-final, 11 men against 11 men. 

“It’s going to be a very difficult game, we know that. They are in the semi-final for a reason — they have played well enough. We are going to try and enjoy the occasion like we always have and we’ll carry on in the same way.”

But Bale’s sixth press conference appearance at the Welsh team’s base came on a day when Ronaldo, the Portuguese’s captain, again did not arrive to talk.

Asked why he had been speaking more often than Ronaldo, Bale said: “I’m not too sure. I can’t comment on how he’s feeling, what he’s doing.

“I am sure he has his reasons for doing what he did, that’s entirely up to him.”

Belfast Telegraph