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Gareth Bale ruled out of Wales qualifiers Featured

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Published in England Premier League
Wednesday, 04 October 2017 07:47

Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale has been ruled out of Wales’ final two World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and the Republic of Ireland with injury.

Bale missed Real’s game over the weekend against Espanyol having picked up a calf injury against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.

Bale was named in the Wales squad but he has now been ruled out of the international break and will miss both qualifiers.
The news come as a huge blow to Wales’ chance of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

They travel to Georgia on Friday before facing Ireland in Cardiff three days later.

Wales are currently second in Group D, one point ahead of Ireland and four points behind Serbia.

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  • Gareth Bale out of Real trip to Athletic Bilbao, Sergio Ramos returns with mask

    Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale has been ruled out of Saturday's La Liga game at Athletic Bilbao, coach Zinedine Zidane said on Friday, after the Wales international picked up yet another injury on his return to action on Tuesday after 63 days out.

    The French coach also added that captain Sergio Ramos will play wearing a protective mask after breaking his nose in the Madrid derby a fortnight ago.
    Bale came on in the 62nd minute of the King's Cup last-32 second leg match against Fuenlabrada and had an immediate impact, setting up two goals for team mate Borja Mayoral in a 2-2 draw, with Real progressing 4-2 on aggregate.

    Any hopes that this would be the start of a comeback from Bale were quickly dashed the following day, however, with reports he had been ruled out of the game with Athletic with another calf injury.
    "It's not much, just discomfort, but as he's been out for so long it's difficult, I hope it's just a physical problem and is only discomfort," Zidane told a news conference on Friday.

    "He needs to be with the team, train with the team and feel like another member of the squad. We keep telling him this, that this is a tough time for him but he'll come out of it, and we'll keep supporting him until he is better."

    Bale played a pivotal role in Real's Champions League wins in 2014 and 2016 as well as winning the King's Cup final against Barcelona in 2014 with a remarkable sprint down the touchline and finish.

    However, he missed most of last season's Liga and Champions League double win with a series of injuries.
    "We can't forget what he has done for the team. When he is fit he is phenomenal, so we need to be patient with him," Zidane added.

    Real are fourth in the league standings but cut the deficit with leaders Barcelona to eight points last week and face an Athletic side in crisis.

    The Basque side, the only team along with Barca and Real to have never been relegated from the top flight, are two places above the relegation zone. They are also reeling from a humiliating King's Cup exit to Formentera on Wednesday which lead to their usually loyal fans booing the team off the pitch.

    "The atmosphere won't benefit us, their fans will support their team as they always do and even more so when they host Real Madrid," added Zidane.

    "It's going to be a difficult game, we're going to have to fight."

  • Gareth Bale makes difference as Real Madrid struggle

    Copa del Rey round of 32 second leg, Santiago Bernabeu - Real Madrid 2 (Mayoral 61', 69') Fuenlabrada 2 (Milla 24', Portilla 88')

    Real Madrid were made to work hard for their place in the last 16 of the Copa del Rey, with Fuenlabrada pushing Zinedine Zidane’s side all the way, claiming a 2-2 second leg draw at the Santiago Bernabeu.
    The Spanish and European champions might have been expected to coast through the second leg of this tie, having won the first leg comfortably 2-0. But this was anything but comfortable. In fact, Fuenlabrada could claim to have been the better side over the 90 minutes.

    Having threatened for much of the first half, they took the lead after 24 minutes, making the most of some slack defensive play from the hosts. The introduction of Gareth Bale off the bench proved a turning point, with the Welshman putting on two assists as Real Madrid finally took a grip of things.

    Fuenlabrada netted a late equaliser to underline just how close they’d pushed Real Madrid, but ultimately it did little to affect the final outcome. However, Zidane will be concerned by the nature of his side’s performance.

    TALKING POINT - Trying to make sense of the Real Madrid support’s difficult relationship with Gareth Bale

    Making his long-awaited return from injury, Bale was booed by his own fans as he entered the Santiago Bernabeu pitch. Within 60 seconds, he had provided the assist that got Real Madrid out of a rather deep hole. Indeed, the Welsh winger proved to be the difference for Real, so what’s the reason behind his difficult relationship with the club’s support? Injuries have been a frustration, but Bale always delivers. What more can he do?

    MAN OF THE MATCH - Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)

    The dynamic of the game completely changed with the introduction of Bale off the bench in the second half. Up until then, Real Madrid had struggled for a spark in the final third of the pitch. In fact, they’d struggled to reach the final third of the pitch at all. But Bale gave them the pace and directness needed to expose Fuenlabrada, putting on two assists. In the space of just 30 minutes, the Welshman underlined his quality.
    PLAYER RATINGS

    Real Madrid - Navas 4, Achraf 6, Nacho 5, Tejero 5, Theo 5, Feuillassier 5, Llorente 6, Kovacic 6, Oscar 5, Mayoral 7, Ceballos 6. Subs - Bale 8.

    Fuenlabrada - Pol 6, Isma 5, Diaz 6, Juanma 6, Fran 6, Milla 7, Cristobal 5, Bravo 6, Yaw 5, Matheus 7, Fraile 7.

    KEY MOMENTS

    4’ WHAT A CHANCE! That should have been an opener for Fuenlabrada. The ball was played to the penalty spot from the byline, but somehow Fraile managed to put his shot over the bar.

    7’ ANOTHER SITTER! Well, this is quite something. Fuenlabrada are cutting open Real Madrid, this time Tejero shoots straight at Navas after breaking the hosts' offside trap. What a chance.

    24’ GOAL! Real Madrid 0-1 Fuenlabrada: Incredible! Little Fuenlabrada have taken the lead at the Santiago Bernabeu! Milla takes aim from 25 yards, strikes the bar, with the ball ending up in the net via Navas. Wow!

    63’ FUENLABRADA OFF THE BAR! This is sensational! Now Fuenlabrada hit the woodwork through Diaz, who directed a header towards goal from a freekick. The away side have Real Madrid on the ropes.

    65’ GOAL! Real Madrid 1-1 Fuenlabrada: And that's surely the goal that will settle things for Real Madrid. Bale played a wonderful outside of the boot cross to Mayoral, who made no mistake in heading home from close range.

    70’ GOAL! Real Madrid 2-1 Fuenlabrada: It's the same combination for Real Madrid with Bale seeing his initial shot saved, only for Mayoral to pick up the loose ball and finish low into the opposition net.

    89’ GOAL! Real Madrid 2-2 Fuenlabrada: An equaliser for Fuenlabrada! It's too late for them to make a real fightback, but Portilla sticks away a finish at the second attempt after some really slack defensive play from Real Madrid.

    KEY STATS

    Gareth Bale played the assist for Borja Mayoral’s first goal with his very first touch of the match after coming off the bench.

    Mayoral has scored three goals in his three starts for Real Madrid this season in all competitions.

  • Chris Coleman quits as Wales manager, agrees to take over at Sunderland

    The Welsh FA confirmed on Friday evening that Chris Coleman has resigned as the manager of the national team with immediate effect.

    Coleman, who became Wales manager in 2012, led his country to the semi-finals of Euro 2016, their first major tournament since 1958.

    However, he was unable to guide them to next year's World Cup as they missed out on qualification from Europe's Group D last month.
    Coleman is now expected to take over at Championship strugglers Sunderland according to various reports.

    The Black Cats have been without a manager since sacking Simon Grayson last month after one win in their opening 16 league matches left them bottom of the standings.

    Coleman, who became Wales manager in 2012, led his country to the semi-finals of Euro 2016, their first major tournament since 1958.

    However, he was unable to guide them to next year's World Cup as they missed out on qualification from Europe's Group D last month.

    The 47-year-old will return to club management having previously coached Fulham and Coventry City. He also had short spells abroad with Real Sociedad and AEL Athens.

    Jonathan Ford, Chief Executive of the Football Association of Wales, said: “We are extremely disappointed to see Chris’ tenure as Wales manager come to an end.

    “The FAW and Wales as a nation will be eternally grateful for the job he has done over the last six years as National Team Manager, from travelling the length and breadth of Wales outside of the media spotlight to talk to players and supporters, to guiding us to the semi-finals of the European Championships.

    “We wish Chris the very best of luck for the future as he returns to club management, a desire for which he has always been honest and open about.”

  • Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud on target as France beat Wales

    Goals by Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud earned France a comprehensive 2-0 home win against Wales in a friendly game at the Stade de France on Friday.

    The duo found the back of the net either side of the interval as Les Bleus, who will take part in next year's World Cup finals, snatched a routine win.

    Griezmann volleyed home just inside the box from Corentin Tolisso's superb cross in the 18th minute to put Didier Deschamps's team ahead.
    It was the 10th time in his last 12 games for the national side that the Atletico Madrid forward was involved in a goal.

    Wales, who missed out on a place at next year's tournament in Russia, were just content to defend.

    In the second half, Kylian Mbappe's cross was met by Giroud, who beat Wayne Hennessey with a left-footed shot in the 71st minute to seal the win.

  • Gareth Bale suffers fresh injury, set to miss several weeks

    Real Madrid have confirmed that forward Gareth Bale has suffered a fresh thigh injury in training.

    Bale had only just returned to training and he had previously been pencilled in for a return in the derby against Atletico Madrid after the international break.

    However on Friday Real released a statement saying that he had suffered a new injury, to the thigh, and would now be assessed over the coming days.
    The expectation in Spain is that he will miss several weeks and he may not play again in 2017.

    It is yet another injury blow for Bale who has not played for Real since late September.

    Amongst other matches he has missed the home and away games against former club Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League as well as Wales' crucial qualifying game against the Republic of Ireland.

    The statement in full read - "Our player Gareth Bale, who felt some discomfort in his left leg at the end of Thursday's training session, today underwent various tests carried out by the Real Madrid Sanitas medical team. He has been diagnosed with a strain to the middle third of the abductor longus muscle in his left leg. His recovery will continue to be assessed."

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