Coleman hails Bale commitment

Chris Coleman has hailed Gareth Bale's commitment to Wales after he joined up with the national squad.

Last Updated: 03/09/13 at 17:32 Post Comment

Gareth Bale: Has linked up with Wales after world-record transfer

Gareth Bale: Has linked up with Wales after world-record transfer

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Chris Coleman hailed Gareth Bale's commitment to Wales after the world's most expensive player raced back from his unveiling at Real Madrid to join up with the national squad ahead of the World Cup qualifiers against Macedonia and Serbia.

The 24-year-old's protracted record-breaking 100million euro (£85.3million) move from Tottenham to the Spanish giants was finally confirmed on Sunday, and the following day saw him presented to more than 20,000 Real fans at the Bernabeu.

The winger could have been forgiven for wanting to stay in the Spanish capital to soak up the experience of becoming one of the club's 'Galacticos', but instead he had already informed Wales boss Coleman he would be catching a flight back to the UK and linking up with the national squad that night.

Wales' hopes of qualifying for next summer's finals are all but over, yet Bale considered it important he turn up for his country, and Coleman believes he is a shining example to his team-mates.

He said: "If we are to get better and climb the rankings, we need all our players here. Even if they have little knocks, or are maybe being put under pressure by their managers, we need them to be strong and to say they are turning up.

"That is what Gareth has done. If it is good enough for him it is good enough for all of us.

"I'm delighted with his attitude but it doesn't surprise me. I know the type of lad he is, he is passionate about Wales.

"The fact he called me to say he was on his way to Real Madrid, and he had the unveiling to do, but then he would be catching a flight back (to join the Wales squad), speaks volumes for him."

Coleman also thanked Real Madrid for allowing Bale to travel back and join up with Wales.

He said: "Credit to them, they have not put any barriers in front of him, there has not even been a conversation.

"I know Carlo Ancelotti's right-hand man Paul Clement very well, he coached with me at Fulham, so that will be good for us going forward, the fact that we have a connection there and a relationship."

But Coleman made it clear he will not risk Bale's fitness over the course of the qualification double-header.

Bale has not played since July and a foot injury prevented him from playing any part in Wales' friendly against the Republic of Ireland last month.

Wales' fans will be keen to see the game's most expensive player in action when they face Serbia in Cardiff on Tuesday, but Coleman has made it clear his star man will not play 90 minutes in either fixture.

Bale joined in with his team-mates as they trained in Hensol on Tuesday afternoon, but Coleman said: "We will not risk Gareth or anyone else.

"We will have a look and we will monitor how he goes in the next couple of training sessions and if he is going okay.

"He has no chance of playing 90 minutes in either game, we know that before we even had a conversation.

"How much of a part he can play will be determined by how he reacts over the next 24 to 48 hours in the training sessions.

"He will be with the group, he will be doing some specific work. But in the main, he will be doing a tactical session with us."


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