Saturday, September 23, 2017

Bale helped Wales land Woodburn over England

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 5 Sep 2017

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Gareth Bale says he played a part in getting Liverpool sensation Ben Woodburn to choose Wales over England.

Woodburn came off the substitutes’ bench to score a brilliant strike on his debut as Wales won 1-0 against Austria on Saturday.

And ahead of Tuesday’s World Cup qualifying match in Moldova, Real Madrid star Bale revealed he had played a part in ensuring the 17-year-old attacker committed to Wales instead of England, for whom he is also eligible.

“I remember meeting him in one game, I think it was against Holland [in November 2015],” Bale told reporters.

“He was injured and he was sat in the box next to me as he’s with my agency Stellar.

“I had a little chat with him then, getting [him] on board because obviously we knew he was a great player. 

“We’re delighted to have him – and he’s Welsh anyway, he’s ours.”

Wales are third in Group D, four points behind leaders Serbia and two behind Republic of Ireland in second with three matches left to play.

Chris Coleman’s men could be occupying a play-off spot if they beat Moldova and Republic of Ireland fail to beat Serbia in their match, but the forward has his sights set on finishing first.

“I said we had four finals to keep our hopes alive,” continued Bale. “One down, three to go.

“If we win all four we’ll have a great chance of top spot, and if not we’ll get into the play-offs. This is important too, we’ll be going into the match confident and prepared very well.

“We know they’ll make it difficult but we’ll do everything to get the points and put ourselves in an even better position.

“If I didn’t think we could do it [qualify] I wouldn’t be here. We all still believe we can do it. That’s the most important part.”

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