Bale Can Smell Euro Glory For Wales
Paris: Gareth Bale believes European Championship glory is in Wales’ hands but warned they cannot look past the next challenge of Portugal. The Real Madrid star hailed his side’s performance against Belgium in the 3-1 win as illustrative that a true team can overcome a talented collection of individuals and vowed to continue that approach in Wednesday’s semi-final. Bale was also quick to play down the inevitable hype around his face off with Cristiano Ronaldo, insisting the focus should be on two nations as a whole. “It’s in our hands now,” he said when asked if Wales could go all the way. “We’re going to enjoy the victory but we can’t afford to look past the semi-final, we just have to keep doing what we’ve been doing and we’ll stick to that.
“It’s just incredible. We knew we had it in us, we obviously had a game plan. “We felt we knew Belgium well from previous games and we executed the plan amazingly. “We covered every blade of glass and definitely deserved the win. “We’ve grown in confidence, we’ve been learning from mistakes we’ve made before. I thought we dominated the first half, we kept the ball very well and we felt very comfortable. “We know they’re a very good side with a lot of talented individuals but we showed what a true team we are.” Wales went behind early to Radja Nainggolan’s thunderbolt but showed huge character to respond and take back control in the game. Ashley Williams equalised before half-time with a header, before Hal Robson-Kanu scored with a wonderful turn and finish to take the lead. Sam Vokes added gloss after coming off the bench. The players celebrated wildly on front of their fans at the end, and are aware of the massive impact their run has caused back home.
“This is the first time Wales have advanced to the last four of a competition, going one stage further than the team of 1958 who lost to Brazil in the World Cup quarter finals. “The fans here and the fans back at home have been incredible,” said Bale. “We love our fans we try to integrate with them all the time. “It’s going to be an amazing day for the semi-final, we’ve already made history and hopefully we can make more.
“We’re just enjoying being here, we’re enjoying the ride. It’s our time and we look forward to the semi-final. “We’re very proud at what the ‘58 team did. “They had some amazing players. But we’ve always spoken that this is our time to shine. “We’ve definitely done that.” And his duel with Real teammate Ronaldo?
“It’s Portugal versus Wales, nothing more,” he said. The Daily Mail