Wales hoping Bale comes through final

Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale scored as Real Madrid beat Atletico Madrid in the 2014 Champions League final

As Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale prepares for another Champions League final, the rest of Wales’ European Championship squad will be watching with interest.

Bale was Wales’ talisman during their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign and will be key to their hopes when the tournament begins in France next month.

But he must first emerge unscathed from Saturday’s final with Atletico Madrid.

“I’ll be watching from behind a cushion probably, the same as all of Wales,” James Collins told BBC Wales Sport.

Wales and West Ham defender Collins says Bale is in good spirits ahead of the match at Milan’s San Siro – a repeat of the 2014 Champions League final against city rivals Atletico.

“We’re going to watch it as a team but there’s a few nervous people. I spoke to Gaz and he is in good form and looking forward to the game and meeting up,” he said.

Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey hopes Bale can steer Real to another Champions League victory, two years after he scored to help them to a 4-1 extra-time victory.


Gareth Bale has been a vital part of Real Madrid’s attacking line-up this season

“We’ll watch it, we’ll all be supporting Bale and hopefully he can come back with the medal and fully fit. We’re pleased that he’s there and hopefully he can finish the job off,” Ramsey said.

Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen added: “Even if one of our team-mates wasn’t involved we would be watching but with him playing we’ll get together and watch the game.

“We’re praying he comes through unscathed but hopefully he can repeat what he did a couple of seasons ago and put in a huge performance in a Champions League final.

“If he’s able to help his team go on and get the win then that’s going to be a huge boost. The confidence he’ll get from that will be huge when he joins up with us.”

Premier League winner Andy King has tasted success with Leicester City going into Wales’ first major tournament since 1958 and hopes Bale can do likewise.

“Gareth’s played a lot of football in his career, it’s just going to be another game for him. Obviously it’s a massive game and one which we want his team to win,” King said.

“We just hope he can get the win and that will bring him here buzzing.”

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